NO! NO! NO! Don’t destroy Dietmar’s NO!art Web site
By Clayton Patterson | Edited by Monica Uszerowicz
Published in: The Villager, New York, Volume 80, Number 43 | March 24 - 30, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side,
Re: Domain Name Infringement at <no-art.info> DearMr. Kirves: Our firm is counsel to the Boris Lurie Art Foundation.As you may know, the Boris Lurie Art Foundation (the “Foundation”) is an organization that provides art-related services to preserve and promote the legacy of Boris Lurie and the NO!ART movement. In connection therewith, the Foundation has longstanding trademark rights in the NO!ART trademark (the “Mark”) and owns numerous international and U.S. trademark registrations and applications. The Mark is very valuable to the Foundation and, as a result, the Foundation has developed specific guidelines relating to any and all uses of the Mark and assiduously polices the use of the same.
Ithas recently come to our attention that, despite the Foundation’s rights in and to the Mark, you nave registered the domain name <no-art.info> (the “Domain Name”), which is confusingly similar to the Mark. Please note that the manner of your registration and use of the Domain Name, in our opinion, constitutes “bad faith” under the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. Accordingly our client will be entitled to expedited transfer of the domain name registration via ICANN arbitration.
Tothat end, our client demands that you immediately take any and all action required to transfer the registration of the Domain Name, as well as any and all other domain names comprised of our client’s names or marks or variations thereof that you have registered, to the Boris Lurie Art Foundation. If we do not receive express written confirmation of your compliance by March 15, 2011, our client will pursue other legal remedies.
Pleasenote that this letter is made without prejudice to any other rights or remedies that may be available to the Boris Lurie Art Foundation. Nothing contained herein should be deemed a waiver, admission or license by the Boris Lurie Art Foundation, and the Boris Lurie Art Foundation expressly reserves the right to assert any other factual or legal positions as additional facts come to light, or as the circumstances warrant. Very truly yours,
Anthony Williams Cc: Gertrude Stein
TheVillager has run a couple of articles on Boris Lurie and his NO!art movement (see ►The Villager, New York). Until 1941 Boris and his family lived in Riga, Latvia. Boris and his father survived four years of Nazi imprisonment. His mother, one sister and grandmother were all murdered by the Nazis. Boris’s art reflected his life experiences. Because his work was too caustic, too rude, too brutally honest and in your face, he was unable to establish a traditional art career.
Inthe late 1980’s, Boris asked me to be a member of his NO!art movement. NO!art is a form of social art, a protest art. It is anti-art-market trickery it is about seeking the truth in society and the consequences that telling the truth, as an artist, brings with it.
Idid whatever I could to support him. In 1993 I gave Boris and NO!art their first New York City show in 29 years. Over the years, I included him in other art shows, got him a substantial amount of press, published articles in books, helped create a documentary, supported his inclusion in other movies, and, finally, helped get his obituary in ► The New York Times. I did what I could, but the real supporter, the real champion of the NO!art movement and Boris Lurie, is Dietmar Kirves. I was holding down the Western Front (North America) and Dietmar Kirves the Eastern Front (Europe).
Dietmarworked with Boris for more than 30 years. One of Dietmar’s initial projects was the first NO!art anthology, published in 1988 (Hundermark, Cologne, Germany). He then became instrumental in getting numerous other works published. Dietmar was influential in setting into motion the first major museum exhibition of NO!art in Berlin, then followed that with a show at the Buchenwald Memorial Site. (Boris’s and his father’s last camp was Magdeburg, a satellite of Buchenwald).
Dietmarhas accumulated the largest archive of communications with Boris, as well as other material associated with NO!art. But his more serious, publicly accessible work in support of NO!art is the NO!art Web site. The site, which was created at Boris’s request in 1999, is a wealth of material that has helped to educate people all over the world about the history, ambitions and social significance of NO!art. It was with Boris’s oversight that Dietmar turned the written page into a veritable virtual archive for the movement.
Dietmar,now retired, spends just about all of his time dedicated to working on the Web site. The site averages more than 80,000 visits a month, and has more than 3,000 back-links connected to universities, newspapers and other movements. When Boris was alive, he gave Dietmar a stipend per month to run the site and create an archive. After his death, when the money stopped, my wife, Elsa, and I sent some money whenever we could. But it was devastating to have this small amount of money cut off.
Whywould anyone particularly an uptown New York City art dealer by the name of Gertrude Stein want to destroy Dietmar’s work, eliminate the public access to the valuable but obscure content of this site, cut out of history and public recognition any connection to Dietmar Kirves and NO!art? Other than a couple of art shows in the 1960’s, Stein did very little to further the NO!art movement or Boris Lurie’s art career. Stein, a casual, on-again-off-again friend of Boris’s, was mysteriously able to take control over the Boris Lurie estate. Turns out that the Boris Lurie estate is worth $80 million (► ARTnews, April 2010).
Steinset up the Boris Lurie Foundation with the mandate to provide art-related services to preserve and promote the legacy of Boris Lurie and the NO!art movement. This is exactly what Kirves has spent much of his adult life working on so my conclusion is that this hostile takeover is about the potential gain of money. The foundation is made up of four partners one in Liechtenstein Dr. Peter Sprenger, a politician; one in Switzerland Dr. Geo Campanovo, another politician; one who jumps back and forth between London and New York City Dr. Pepper, a lawyer; and Gertrude Stein in New York. There are no artists or anyone connected to the NO!art movement on the foundation.
Itis curious that the foundation, since it is dedicated to preserving NO!art, has done nothing to get in contact with me about that section of my archive, which includes extensive video, photography and other ephemera related to NO!art and Boris Lurie. And it seems that the foundation has no interest or respect for Dietmar’s archive. Without permission, they skilfully removed some articles from the Web site, and then reproduced them in catalogues for two recent art shows, leaving no trace or sign that the articles could be traced back to Dietmar’s Web site.
Doesthis mean that I can trademark Pop Art or Dada, and then lay claim to everything related to these art movements? This is a self-centered attitude completely inappropriate for the legacy of any deceased artist, especially one who dedicated his life to rebelling against these kinds of institutions and who would not stand for this sort of injustice. And for what? For $80 million! We need more NO!art movements. It is time for people to stand up and be counted that was Boris’s dream.
Photo taken by Volkhard Knigge, Director of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp Memorial
Clayton Patterson, left, and Boris Lurie on December 13, 1998 at the site of the former Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany, where Lurie was having a ► one-man art show 1998. The show included a video documentary of Lurie by Patterson. (The sign behind means "Buchenwald Memorial, Youth Community Center")
DIETMAR KIRVES | Berlin | February 25, 2011 | There is no peace in the world. They all want the war to become higher income. They all want to have luck with atomic electricity. But the lawyers defend the odious dictators and great dealers that all peoples have fun to drive with their cars around for infroctous connections. Art is an impression for everyone and not a trademark to deal with it like the moneymakers.
NO!art HEADQUARTERS | Berlin | February 26, 2011 | Dietmar Kirves worked together with Boris Lurie more than 30 years to bring the NO!art to light and to involve more artists in the NO!art under the slogan "NO!art is socially relevant personal expression, it is social art, it is protest art, it is political art, it is anti-art (anti artmarket art)". See ► NO!art statements
One of the first results was the first NO!art anthology as a book (1988), various other books, cataloges, exhibitions and films which are to be seen on the NO!art websites. This was and is very hard work and people around him all know and recognize how much Dietmar Kirves has done for NO!art. Without his work nobody would have gained knowledge of NO!art all over the world since the seventies. His NO!art website has just now more than 100 thousand visitors per month and more than two thousand backlinks from Unviversities, newspapers, movements, and others.
Dietmar Kirves compiled the largest and most in depth archive dealing with Boris and NO!art. During Boris Lurie`s lifetime he did this work together with him. An incredible fact is that he did all the work for only Dollar 300 a month. Boris Lurie also visited him in Germany and Dietmar Kirves went to New York to help him to prepare the archives and exhibitions, especially the 'NO!art and the Aestetics of Doom' show in Evanston/Chicago (2001).
But everything became worse for Dietmar when Boris became very sick and died in 2008. Since then he did not get any money-support at all. But he could not stop doing his work because he is an artist himself and a lover of art. He is totally involved in his work for NO!art. It`s literally a great part of his 'Life-Work' and he loves it with all his heart. Maybe the Foundation knows about this. They started to exploit him, that means, they took articles from his website (for instance the vita from Boris Lurie etc). No permission was asked and none was granted. The catalogue for the show at Westwood Gallery in New York (2010) has also many articles taken off of Dietmar`s website.
NO!art is not a product manufacturing company - the name does not represent a business. NO!art is an art movement and should not be trademarked. Boris Lurie was one of the last initiators of the NO!art movement and it is against his interest and the interest of the other involved artists to trademark the NO!art and herewith limit the freedom of the NO!art movement. It is as impossible as to trademark Pop art, DADA, Fluxus, Land art, Concept art, NO!art, etc.
The most incredible impudence is that the Foundation eventually is threatening Dietmar Kirves through their lawywers. They wrote to him that if he does not transfer the Domainname of the website to the Foundatin by March 15 th 2011, "they will pursue other legal remedies." Dietmar runs his website since 1999. It seems so as if the Foundation does not care to spend a lot of money for lawyers.
Lurie`s investments were worth an estimated 80 million dollars. See ► "Art News" review in April 2010
Nevertheless-NO!art goes on, whatever. NO!art goes on even without any trademark!
CLAYTON PATTERSON | New York | February 27, 2011 | good I am glad that they know that I am on your side and aware of everything that is going on. I am hoping this will make them look very stupid- and this is international- you are an artist- Boris did not want Gertrude in charge you made a smart move now they have 2 German speaking people - on the Foundation- that we know of Funny how they steal, but have no concern for content-- must be money involved somewhere- beyond the 80- million...
CHARLES REHWINKEL| New York | March 2, 2011 | Dietmar. Greetings, I am sorry to be so long in replying to your E mail. I first forewarded it to Matthias and to Richard Nadelman who you remember was Boris's lawyer and is now an executor of Boris' estate. According to him the estate and the courts have granted Gertrude and Co. the right to be the "Boris Lurie Foundation" but there is no such stilpulation regarding usage of the "NO! art" logo or any activities pertaining to it. As far as we can determine lawyer Williams claim has no legal validity. We think your request for a german translation was an excellant reply. We can only wait and see. Perhaps you will hear nothing more about this. Meanwhile continue to "take no shit" regarding this matter and keep up your usual good work. Best regards
AMIKAM GOLDMAN | Tel Aviv | March 3, 2011 | Dear Dietmar, I was so shocked to see this letter sent to you from new york (gertrude) this makes me so angry and pissed, that I want to blow this woman into pieces.... how low and evil she can get, absolutely amaze me. Please tell me what you intend to do about this matter. I will fight with you on this! on a different story - We came back today from the hospital with a beautiful little baby girl, we are so happy!!!! this is a big life changer for me, and I'm so excited. I will send you a picture soon.
AMIKAM GOLDMAN | Tel Aviv | March 7, 2011 | SHAME on you Gertrude Stein. You made your way in the ARTS the lowest that was ever possible. Shame. Shame. Shame on YOU. (Amikam Goldman did the film ► NO!art MAN with Boris Lurie in 2003.
YONATAN MARON | New York | March 7, 2011 | Shame indeed. We all knew Boris and know exactly what where his feelings about commercializing his art and the NO!art movement since the 40's to the very last days of his life. He was a true man. And that still lives, as he gave us all, so much content and ideology that Gertrude stein actions are just a mean NYC style pure cynicism, the sort that would make boris burst into a big laugh, gulp one from his cardboard-multi-used cup of vodka and declare "Let's go and have some chinese food !" Need I mention how last year the "foundation" tried getting his hands on my personal archive of Boris's portraits I took in 2003. They wanted it all but wouldn't pay a dime for it. I'm glad I didn't supply them with anything. Dear Dietmar we are here to support you and your No!art activity. Maybe we should have multi domains of No!art Have them sue us all. Good day everyone.
A!statement against NO!art-Manipulation
— GERTRUDE STEIN, LASS ES SEIN —
Detlev Hjuler: Voice | Mama Baer: Voice and Piano | Silvia Kastel: Electric Piano
A statement for the NO!art Movement! The Boris Lurie Art Foundation has put a trade mark right on the term NO!art, a fact that never could have been the will of Boris Lurie, and now the leaders of the NO!art, Dietmar Kirves and Clayton Patterson, are in conflict with the Boris Lurie Art Foundation. The Foundation asks the leaders of the NO!art, to whom was given leadership by Boris Lurie, to stop the NO!art. Detailed Information is at the website of the NO!art Movement. ► Info Kommissar Hjuler
ABOUT CAFE OTO: Opened in April 2008 with the aim of providing a home for creative new music that exists outside of the mainstream. It comprises one large cafe/performance space open during the day serving food and drink with an evening programme of live music almost seven nights a week.
POSTCARD PROTEST ACTION BY DOMINIK STAHLBERG
Print the template ► frontside & ► backside and send protestcards to the manipulators
with your comment. Visual cards are better than digital mails.