Saturday, February 18, 2006

Zehn Gebote fuer den Geschaeftsmann, der einen Kuenstler engagiert

Ten Commandments for the Businessman Who Hires an Artist (1928)
By Kurt Tucholsky

1.

Leave him alone.

2.

Consider first whether the man is right for your company; you can best do this by looking at his works and asking for each one: Can I use that? If you cannot use the majority, don't hire the man. Because:

3.

If an artist is reputable and worth anything, he'll not change himself for your sake, just because you made a contract with him - but if he does change, you only paid for a name, in other words: overpaid the man.

4.

Leave him alone.

5.

Plan carefully, so that your man does not have to rush - art needs time, just like a clean balance. One can, if one is unlucky, shake fleas out of one's sleeve; but not works of art.

6.

Thou shallt honor thy people's Sabbath: you are mistaken if you believe it is a pleasure for strangers to spend their Sundays with your family. By no means is it that.

7.

While the artist you hired is working, hold the works of others under his nose and call upon him, with words of recognition for the other, to do one of these once. That is especially encouraging.

8.

In discussions with your artist, don't consider that you, too, are actually an artist: you were on the verge of studying, but your father put you in his grain business . . . Granted. But don't bring your misplaced ambition with you to the office: the artist does not intrude in your books either - o limit thyself the graceful call of May of your dried-up views of art, to this rose of Jericho!

9.

Listen to the voice of the public, but don't overestimate - in you alone the compass needle must show direction. Twenty letters from the public is nowhere near a popular vote - don't forget that, and don't let the people's stupidity damage your artist.

10.

Leave him alone.

---

The text in German is online at the German language Tucholsky Weblog this address.

4 Comments:

Blogger Antonia said...

very very good and interesting project! Keep this going!

6:50 AM  
Blogger viruswitch said...

This text is fun and its accurate as well. Artists are a bit like hackers, work best alone and dont like to be messed with :)). Kurt knew that. Looking down on an artist or interfering with his work or pace will never work.

11:08 PM  
Anonymous weirsdo said...

I thought I left a comment here before: This is good advice and would work for other professions as well. I wish Minnie Strator had read it before hiring me, for example.

8:38 PM  
Blogger mark rainmanmark said...

very very good and interesting project! Keep this going!

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11:44 PM  

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