Following Up


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Back at the beginning of May I wrote about the trees on Rachel. Well now that it is June, it is obvious that I know absolutely nothing, zero, nada, rien bupkiss about dendrology and should think long and hard before thinking about becoming an arborist. Now that it is summertime, 44 of the 45 trees planted last fall have leaves and appear to be alive. Ooops, sorry.

Back at the end of May I interviewed Alexandre Taillefer about (among other things) who he was going to hire to run the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Last week he hired John Zeppetelli, who was the curator at DHC/Art.

There are a couple of things I figure should be pointed out (In no particular order). Because the announcement came out on the Friday before the biggest three-day weekend here in Quebec, the news got kind of buried, if not ignored entirely. Most outlets, if they chose to run anything, pretty much copy/pasted the press release (which while it was translated, strangely, has not make it to the English side of the museum’s website). Examples here, ici, ici, ici, here (with an additional three sentences), and ici with some context.

Overall I would venture that it is a good hire likely to get the intelligentsia and the nervous Nellies off M. Taillefer’s back for a while. As Mr. Zeppetelli’s art credentials are top notch and beyond reproach. (Hanging out with Thomas Demand, John Currin, Jenny Holzer, Michal Rovner, Christian Marclay and Marc Quinn will have a way of doing that to you.

However, since someone has decided that the museum needs to increase attendance dramatically and either make significantly more money (or conversely, spend significantly less), to me the more important person who has yet to be hired is the person responsible for the Administration/Marketing side of things. The attendance at DHC was insignificant and tiny in comparison to the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. I’d venture a guess that more people went to the Bank of Montreal Museum, Cité historia or the Musée des Hospitalières de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal than DHC/Art. I somehow doubt that DHC’s source of funding is going to transfer along with Mr. Zeppetelli.

I’d be interested to know (but nobody is likely to tell me) if the museum got a “home town discount” in hiring Mr. Zeppetelli? And how his salary compares to what Paulette Gagnon and Marc Mayer (the two most recent directors) were earning. If the Miami Heat can get a “home town discount” for D-Wade so that they can also sign Lebron and Bosh, thereby enabling them to win two NBA Championships, then it would be sweet if the MACM got a “home town discount” so that they would be able to sign someone like a William A. Moir or more realistically Mario D’Amico.

Interesting Tweet by M. Taillefer

I wonder how long was left on Mr. Zeppetelli’s contract with DHC? And does anyone want to lay odds or place bets on who the new curator will be at DHC?

Mr. Zeppetelli doesn’t start work until August 21, (enjoy the vacation) so we’re going to have to wait until something like 2015 before we will be able to see any concrete results of any changes he makes.

Then finally, I also need to follow up on the Rapport Du Groupe De Travail Sur La Philanthropie Culturelle which came out on the 11th of June. But as it is 106 pages of complex ideas written in French, it just hasn’t quite jumped to the top of my summer reading list just yet. I will get around to it, I promise.

2 thoughts on “Following Up”

  1. Hey, I saw some palm trees in front of a restaurant, and I thought they were for real….later found out they were fake! You thought the trees on Rachel were fake, but they were real!! So what’s the big deal! Life goes on! Happy Canada Day!

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