Tuesday 19 May 2009

European marketing via European blogs: The artist's approach

Writing a blog on European issues seems to attract quite different audiences with very diverse interests.

Today I was contacted by a French artists named Martin Le Chevallier who asked me whether I would be be willing to advertise a piece of art called "The Holy Flag".

Since one of the goals of this blog is to understand the dynamics of the European public sphere, if such a thing exists, and since I was wondering why this blog was regarded as a possible means to promote art, I have asked Martin some questions that were of interest to me.

And he was ready to answer.

Julien: Martin Le Chevallier, we had never spoken or met before, but earlier today you contacted me via email asking whether I would be ready to publicise your latest piece of art, "The Holy Flag". How did you find my blog, why did you decide to contact me, and what were your expectations?
Martin Le Chevallier: "The Holy Flag" is the story of a miracle: the apparition of a Christ face on an european flag. A procession brought this relic to the european institutions in Brussels, as a divine sign of the christian identity of Europe. My will was to bring this parodic story out of the artistic circle, to bring it to a more political circle. So I tried to submit it to people involved in the European debate. And going around on the web, I found your blog.
Julien: Is this part of a true marketing strategy? Did you also contact other bloggers? Which further means do you use to make yourself and your art known, and what has proven to be the most effective way?
Martin Le Chevallier: I send it to several bloggers. Maybe, it's a kind of marketing. But I'm not sure that putting bottles in the ocean is really efficient! I made a piece about the success strategies: an artistic performance audit. The consulting firm gave me some advices concerning the commercial, mediatic or relational strategies... This can be consulted here: http://www.martinlechevallier.net/english/A_audit.html

It seems that the most effective way is to be lucky once in your life. Meeting the right person at the right moment...
Julien: When I saw "The Holy Flag", I wasn't really sure whether this was the ironic comment of a critical artist or the provocative presentation of religious ideology. Is confusion intended or do you actually want to transport a clear message? What kind of reactions did you get so far? Any surprises?
Martin Le Chevallier: According to me, it is clearly parodic. But, obviously, it's not! I thought that a such idolatrous approach would the idea of a christian Europe in a quite ridiculous way... But anyone can make up his mind looking at it:
Just a clarification regarding the last question:

I really had some doubts on the intention behind this piece of art before I researched a little bit on Martin. I have seen enough bizarre things around Europe and the blogosphere that appear ironic but that are actually dead serious, especially when it comes to religion...

But as Martin said: Take a look yourself and comment on this piece of art. And afterwards, don't miss the chance to inform yourself about the atheist bus campaign!