How to choose your Schmuck Week / Munich Jewellery Week show

Graphic design_Christoph Ziegler, 2019. (ΠΟΛΕΜΟΣ_War in Greek is ZLR Betriebsimperium’s next Munich show).

Polemos_mit KL

How to choose your Schmuck Week / Munich Jewellery Week show.A Decalogue:

1. Be aware of what you are aiming at: New customers, sales, contacts with art professionals, invitations for next shows, fame, biography boosting, exposure, curators’ attention for next Schmuck Special Show, Triennales or Fairs, make pals, party and fun with the same minded? Depending on what you wish to achieve, you will follow a different strategy.

2. How much do you wish to spend? There are shows that monetary participation is minimal or presence is not required (which will save you travel and accommodation expenses, if you do not live in Munich already). Do not forget: you get what you pay for.

3. Number 1 + 2 combined lead to the axiom: Make a budget of how much you invest and how much you expect to get in return.

4. Sales are not impossible during the Munich week (I am writing  ONLY about the shows that take place in the city; this Decalogue does not apply to the IHW Fair or Schmuck Sonderschau), but difficult given the short duration of the shows and big number of simultaneous exhibitions. However, interested buyers do return, even if they do not always buy something on the spot. Do not forget: Show teams with a „past successful record of exhibitions during Schmuck week/ Munich Jewellery Week“ are more visited than newcomers. Successful means at least 3 of the following 4 criteria were met: Art VIPs did see the show, Press reviews and positive evalutions were published, Innovative trace is still remembered, Sales made. Art VIPS are people who meet decisions that may affect your career: institutional curators, art critics, collectors, academics, well known galerists, awarded and respected artists, funding managers or experts.

5. Who do you want to sell to? Jewellery fans, colleagues, collectors? The answer to this question will shape the work you plan to present in Munich and your prices. Sales must be made with legal documents. Be informed about the legal procedure before booking your show.

6. Do you know the price of your work? Pricing art is one of the most difficult tasks an artist or curator or artist’s representative has to decide upon. Price in art is based only partly on the value of material used and labor invested; price often reflects: biography, recognition, mastery, fame, being part of important collections, innovation, trends and fashions.

7. Munich is a very expensive city and the rentals extremely high; you get what you pay for and sometimes you pay more money for an inappropriate space than for a good space, because space speculation is high during the week and rip offs of innocent artists who are not familiar with the Munich art scene are, unfortunately, not a rare incident. Connections to the Munich art and gallery scene are essential to find the right place and understand the tiny print in the rental contract as well.

8. A gallery is a place with good lighting, clean white walls, reputation, annual show programme and clientele: a space which existed before your show and will exist also after your show. Pop up galleries are pop art galleries; they serve the needs of the show but usually have no organic connection to the city; they appear for a while and then disappear. Pop up galleries is an international trend for affordable shows; however, they do not add much prestige in your biography, because they do not exist permanently.

9. Who do you want to attract to your show? You may have crowds visiting your show, but ask yourself; Is this your public? Make sure, you know your public – if possible by first name and professional title- and that they will accept your invitation.

10. Your show must be supported by good communication and specialized/professional PR; good communication platforms addressing the jewellery scene exist already and do excellent job, however, they do not usually appeal to the general public interested in jewelry art as a potential buyer. Leave a digital trace, so that people who will hear about your show after it is over, may find the details and documentation online and contact you.

Christoph Ziegler and Loukia Richards, aka ZLR Betriebsimperium, curate their 6th show for Munich’s Schmuck week/ Munich Jewellery Week at WELTRAUM, Munich’s Best 6 Off-Spaces Awarded Galleries (The City of Munich Gallery Award 2019) and the city’s oldest experimental gallery. See link for details:

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