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BORIS TEAM— CLARITY

New York | March 11, 2007
Mail send to:
Richard Nadelman, Attorney; Martin Levitt [1]; Aleksey Dayen;
Konstantin K. Kuzminsky; Gertrude Stein; Estera Milman;
Leonid Pinchevsky; Dietmar Kirves; Matthias Reichelt;
Eckhart Holzboog; Amikam Goldman; Harriet Wood;
Beatrice Hamilton; Charles Rehwinkel

Mr. Richard Nadelman. We need some clarity and definition here.

You are the person in the position of power, responsibility, leadership, and authority. I believe that it is your responsibility to give us a little focus, clarity, leadership and direction.

Is Matthias [Reichelt] is in charge of Boris's art? What is Matthias's role? What is this nebulous Boris thing- is it a foundation... if so how many parts does the foundation consist of - is there a board- who is on it? What are the goals of whatever this is? Is there a mission statement? What is the purpose of this whatever it is? Define what this, whatever it is- organization? Are there rules and by-laws? Meetings? Minutes? Money spent or allocated? Who is getting paid, how much and why? Who decides who works and who does not?

If Matthias is the art director, I would like to have Matthias define what direction he is going to moving Boris's art. writings, and legacy in. Does Matthias have writers lined up to develop books, or papers, or to write essays on Boris and his creative endeavors. Is Boris's only importance to Matthias, connected to the holocaust and the fact that Boris is Jewish. How is Matthias going to define NO!art. Who was in NO!art. When did it begin and when did NO!art end, or did it end? Or is Matthias going to separate Boris into his own separate place? Is Matthias mostly going to concentrate on the holocaust and Boris, and the fact that Boris is a Jew? Is Matthias going to be dealing with Boris's politics?

I ask these questions for a number of reasons.

What instigated this email was a call from Kim. She was extremely upset that the movie [2] stated that she no longer worked for Boris and that she had throw out valuable Lurie photos. As most of us know, Kim has again been working for Boris, and her position is, she never threw out any photographs.

No sure why Matthias would want to portray Kim in this unflattering light, or why he did not contact Kim directly about this fact. He choose to place both Estera and myself in an adverse light. It seems that Gertrude's intuition about Matthias and the film were in fact right on the money. If Matthias does have a place on this Boris, whatever it is, then Matthias is representing Boris.

If Matthias is a significant player in this Boris- yet to be defined by Mr. Nadelman- then Matthias should make his case about the film. Why he did not fact check with Kim about her employment and the photograph issue. Should Mr. Nadelman be expected to explain the relationship between the film and the - yet to be defined thing...

The film [3] attempts to lay out and define who Boris is, and who the people are around Boris... these definitions are made by a member of the yet to be defined by Mr. Nadelman. Did Boris pay any money, or give charity of any kind, or contribute in anyway, to the making of this film- beyond just being in it? Did Boris ever have a chance to see and understand the development, direction, how the film was progressing?

I also differ with Matthias's screen impression of Boris. Giving the impression that Boris was a doddering old man, puttering with art, a man of leisure, and only concentrating on Wall Street, implying his only fixation was on money. Portraying Boris as only interested in, and fixated on money, other than being a little bit of a cliché, is wrong. Boris, in the later part of his life, was active as a writer. He was a poet and a writer of fiction. Boris's most recent book, published by Eckhart, is Boris's writings. Poetry and writing is one of the main reasons that Boris was connected to Aleksey. Boris in the last 5 years or so, finished The House of Anita. A book that he had worked on for years. I believe that Aleksey facilitated the translation of the House of Anita into English.

Boris was interested in writers, poets. Boris introduced me to several Russian literary people- poets, publishers, and story tellers. Boris and I hung out with some of these young literary people- some published magazines. Went to Brooklyn cafe's. How a part of this literary connection started- I got a art work of Boris's included in an Art Party Pravda show. I think Eckhart may have delivered this art work to the exhibition. It was through documenting an Art Party Pravda exhibition [4], that I met and became involved with Leonid Pinchevsky and the radical Russian Art Party Pravda. I introduced Boris to Konstantin K. Kuzminsky. I got Harold Hudson Channer to do a program on Boris, and then another program on Boris and K.K. Kuzminsky. Boris loved Kuzminsky. Kuzminsky is a major, well respected Russian editor, poet, artist. From Kuzminsky came the Russian literary connection. And there were several. I believe Aleksey also came by way of Kuzminsky. Aleksey set up and did some poetry readings at my place. Boris, always came to the Russian poetry reading. Boris loved the poetry. He was enamored with that whole scene. Aleksey, became the conduit for this last literary period of Boris's active life. I believe Aleksey got some articles on Boris published. There was nothing in the film about Eckhart, Alexis, or Boris's literary period. Why not?

There was no mention of Dietmar in this film. Why not? If not for Dietmar... non of the present day Germans would have even known about Boris. What is Matthias's role in Boris's affairs? We need to get a proper history done of Boris.

Matthias's version is way off track. It is simplistic and not correct. It makes Boris into an incidental character, which he is not. The film is weak. I was upset at the end of the movie discussion period, when Matthias stated that Boris has seen his day. That Boris is no longer an influence. That there are no young people interested in Boris and NO!art. When I brought out the fact that I had shown Boris's books and works to many people, including the younger generation, and found many interested parties, Matthias blew this off. How does Matthias think Ami came into the picture? I introduced Ami to NO!art and Boris. Ami made a historically significant film on Boris. Boris also loved Ami's film. There were several younger literary types who admired Boris. Aleksey is a younger person who very much admires Boris.

Where is Matthias getting his information from? Matthias publicly concluded that I am just some incidental guy in an obscure small space, in this unimportant neighborhood, that both the LES and Clayton really do not amount to much of anything, and has no connection to anything note worthy. Matthias can classify me in whatever way he wants. But he is mistaken to marginalize me too much, or to make too little of my reach, respect, or connections.

Yes, Matthias is right about the fact that I am an outsider in the art world. True. That outsider position has been my choice. And it his choice to demean and underestimate who I am. I will say that he knows nothing about me. As an outsider I am a legendary fighter. And I have been involved in some historic battles with the system. I do not lose very often. I am still here to fight another day.

Boris, for me, is one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Boris was not my mentor. I got Boris press, the most recent was the London Jewish Journal. I introduced Boris to artists and people of interest. Put him in shows. Boris put me in shows, books, and introduced me to some amazing people. We are two artists. We fought a lot, laughed a lot, shared a lot. We were friends. Comrades.

I will not tolerate Boris being classified as some incidental artist from the 20th century and is only interesting because he survived the holocaust, is Jewish, and fixed on money. Matthias sees me as some marginal figure, fine. I would like Mr. Nadelman to clarify what Matthias's position is with regard to Boris's art and estate.

What is the Boris Team? What is the meaning and legal standing of those papers, signed by Boris, that included my name and Gertrude name. Does Estera have a place in this- yet to be defined by Mr. Nadelman? Is Kim included in any of this yet to be defined by Mr. Nadelman. Or Charlie Rehwinkel? What is Aleksey's position in all of this? What is Martin's position in NO!art and the estate? What is Gertrude's position and authority. What is Mr. Nadelman's position and authority. Is there a board as Matthias suggested at the Anthology Film Archives screening. What is this board? Who is on it? Is there a mission statement?

What power and authority does this board have? I think that the time has come to get a little clarity. Muddy waters breeds mysterious and nasty creatures... clarity baring light... light heals.. we need some light.

thanks
Clayton

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Comment: "Capitals are my comment.... I found your letter to be a brlliant exposition! But, you are telling a phyton not to a swallow the entire gazelle it stranged. Pulling Nadelman away from his feast is an impossible task. A lecture on ethics is totally wasted. I venture to say that Boris committed financial suicide by getting a cheap lawyer. They are often the most expensive in the long run. Boris outwitted himmself! If there is anything realistic that I can do to salvage Boris' art work, please let me know! I only hope he is feeling no pain in the hospice!" - a sad Martin Levitt. (NO!art archives)

[2] See the Filmdocumentary by Matthias Reichelt an Reinhild Dettmer-Finke SHOAH UND PINUPS, DER NO!ARTIST BORIS LURIE, Freiburg (Germany) and New York 2006.

[3] Comment: "A film about an old man who was persuaded of a documentary during his illness in old age.
The film misses any information about the co-founders of the NO!art movement like the artists Sam Goodman and Stanley Fisher, by whom and with whom he became known as NO!artist. Likewise, lack of any information on his former girlfriend and gallery owner Gertrude Stein, who promoted him in the 60's, the gallery owner Janos Gat, who organized the recent exhibitions of him in New York, and his many friends he motivated to a NO!art involvement. It lacks information about his friend Dietmar Kirves who promoted him in germany since the early 80's. It also lacks any information about the NO!art webpage which operated with Boris' financial support since 2000. See www.no-art.info. There have done already better films about Boris Lurie such as that of Rudij Bergmann "Lurie Portrait" and that of Amikam Goldman "NO art Man!" (2003) and the one by Naomi Tereza Salmon "optimistic - disease-facility" (2003). See the video streams on NO!art website http://borislurie.no-art.info/filmography.html
There is no evidence of his poetic work "Geschriebigtes-Gedichtigtes", which was published in a comprehensive book on the occasion of his exhibition at the Buchenwald Memorial. The artistic work of Boris Lurie consists only a few works which touch on the subject "Shoah and Pinup". They have no pictorial relation to the Iraq war as it mentions a german newspaper which was influenced by the German filmmakers. His work is rather dominated by the motto that "NO!art occupies the strategic juncture where artistic production meets socio-cultural action. NO!art targets are the hypocritical intelligentsia, capitalist culture manipulation and consumerism. NO!art aims total unabashed self-expression in art leading to social involvement." Nothing about this told us the film.
It proves here again that filmmakers who have access to public event places can launch documentaries which only fragmentarily draw a picture of a person that does not correspond to reality. It is curious to see how hanger-ons work on the Holocaust want to become more importance through. What does that actually mean: Shoah and Pinup? Lets itself deal with such a subject so cheap? Unfortunately, Boris Lurie can not say anything more about this film, because he can no longer communicate with us. He is presently in a hospice after a heavy stroke". - Dietmar Kirves, Berlin

"The comment is correct. Everything really controversial and relevant for the politics and art of today does not appear in the film. Read better therefore the book Boris Lurie, Seymour Krim: NO!art, Cologne / Berlin 1988". - Wolfgang Roelen, Berlin | Source: http://borislurie.no-art.info/filmography/2006_reidefi-reichelt-de.html#no-art_headquarters (in German)

[4] ART PARTY PRAVDA, Groupshow against homeless, New York 1994; see http://patterson.no-art.info/gallery/1994-08-04_pravda.html

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