RK has attended enough icoc 'conferences' to know the lecture program is by and large nothing but an in-name only hype and vehicle to give free room and board, and airfare as well in some cases, to the in-group clique of icoc honcho, their sycophants and the icoc hosting cities preferred members people.
There have now been eleven icoc, the Stockholm edition is the 12th, and of the hundreds of "lectures" and presentations given at these events we are sure no one, not even the most ardent supporter, can reference or cite more than at most a dozen worthy of calling important.
Frankly, RK knows even a paltry dozen is too large a number.
And while we're on it calling these meeting "conferences" sullies the word as there is hardly any 'conferencing' that happens at them pseudo-pontificating might be more descriptive.
Heres a general dictionary definition of conference:
"the act of conferring or consulting together; consultation, especially on an important or serious matter"
Even if one omits the words serious or important it is clear no 'conferencing' goes on, or has ever gone on, at any icoc event.
Like almost everything in rugDumb the hype surrounding is far more than what it is hyping -- aka too much smoke and too little fire.
And trust RK the Stockholm event will be no different or better.
For example several weeks ago we read the following and were we weak of intestinal fortitude we might have had to make an unplanned trip to the closest WC.
"Alberto Boralevi, Chair of ICOC Academic Committee, will hold the opening lecture Table Carpets; a Bridge between East and West; a Link between Carpets and Textiles during the opening ceremony 16 June"
Several months ago RK attended the Sartirana carpet fair in Sartirana, Italy and had the opportunity to talk with Boralevi, who was an exhibitor trying to sell his stock of rugs to any and all comers.
RK needs to mention we have spoken with him before and quite honestly are amazed at how little Boralevi knows about antique oriental rugs, even the Anatolian ones he is cracked up to have expertise.
At Sartirana we point blank asked Boralevi, who on top of being an alleged Turkish rug expert is the Chair of the ICOC Academic Committee as you just read above, why he has not spoken out about the outrageous dennis doddsbogus belliniLACMAsituation.
To our complete and utter amazement Boralevi said, and WE QUOTE
I don't know enough about Anatolian rugs to judge"
So why is this man smiling
He is smiling because he knows he is a fool but a clever one who has made a good living selling rugs he professes to know not enough about to clients who believe he does know. Nice, huh?
RK could go on proving what a carpet know-little Boralevi is but let us instead republish something that appeared here on RugKazbah on Oct. 13, 2003.
Seems Alberto Boralevi is having a small selling exhibition of Turkmen rugs from the advert he has recently placed on his website. One of the 'treasures' he will be offering up to all those hungry turk0manics will be a supposed Jolami (tent-band) fragment.
Here is a photo and his description of it below:
"Full pile jolami (tent band) fragment with typical Chodor colours and all wool foundation"
Based on the size of this fragment - 3.5 feet by 1 foot - the inexperienced observer could be deceived into believing this fragment might have been from a tentband. However, it's not.
This piece is surely one of the side panels from a kappunuk and not in any way, shape or form part of a tentband.
Signore Boralevi, like many other dealers, knows how to talk the talk but stumbles badly when trying to walk the walk. Could he actually run with the ball? RK.com's opinion on that one: Doubt it, as Alberto's Jolami dream is nothing more than a Jo-Mamma illusion.
So Alberto, if you need some consultation and help with your Turkmen's in the future, post them here on Rk.com and I'll be glad to assist before you trip over those shoe-laces again.
Is there any wonder why the academic program at an icoc event is nothing but fluff and an opportunity for lecturers to enjoy the perks?
The list for the topics and speakers is now been made public for weeks, and we defy anyone to show us where there will be a NEW lecture worth listening to or one that will have lasting value?
There is one we can guarantee WILL BE worth your time attending
Margareta Nockert: The Soumak Technique in Scandinavia from the 5th Century to the End of the 13th Century
RK knows Mrs. Margareta Nockert and spent a number of very pleasant hours with her when we visited the National Museum in Stockholm, where she is the curator, to study the Lamm textile collection.
This is when RK saw the Marby rug and came to the conclusion it is a reproduction and not an early, classic period carpet.
The reason we cite her lecture is not because we know her but because she has written an excellent book, which we have read, on the subject of soumak technique in Scandinavian textiles and we are sure few in the carpet community know about it and her research. Her lecture will now make icoc attendees privy this information but it has been around for 20 years. Nothing new here.
As for the rest of the list of speakers and their topics we would be hard pressed to even recommend another.
When you have carpet poseurs like raoul tschebutt(shit) and wendle(swindle) swan on the list, along other non-mentionables like up and coming but going nowhere newbies Ali Riza Tuna and Sarah Haberkerns giving talks probably more suitable for a rug society moth-meet than a supposedly august once every no longer three but five year celebratory event, it does make anyone who knows the truth not reach for their travel agents phone number.
There are two others in all honesty RK can point to as having the possibility to be worth the effort to attend:
Haakan Wahlquist: The Archaeological/Ethnographic Collections of Sven Hedins and their Textile Contents
Sidney Goldstein: James Franklin Ballard. Some Thoughts on One of the Most Important Early Twentieth Century Oriental Carpet Collectors.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Hedin, along with le Coq, Stein and others, mounted archaeological expeditions and explored the vast and often life threatening desert areas over which the Silk Road passed.
Along with scrolls and other art objects they found textiles, some of which have important connection and connotation to oriental carpet studies.
For those of you interested we can suggest visiting the most recent Weaving Art Museum exhibition Animals Pears and Flowers where a discussion of a small group of these weavings and their relationships to the iconography of Turkmen rugs appears.
RK can also suggest reading Foreign Devils on the Silk Road by Peter Hopkirk, which is a very entertaining and informative look at the exploits and discoveries of Hedin, Stein, le Coq and others.
So while there might be some slivers of silver lining to the lecture program planned for Stockholm we can only say it could be, and should be, far brighter and far, far better.