Rene Wanner's Poster Page has now been running for over ten years, the front page alone has received over 1 million visitors. It's existence is taken for granted, but many visitors are not aware that the page is maintained and financed by me alone, without any outside support. It has become a fulltime and expensive occupation for me, but it was fun doing it, I received many positive feedbacks, and had the impression that Posterpage was usefull and appreciated by many.
However, recent developments made me reconsider what I am doing:
- Some people now demand that I show their posters or exhibitions on Posterpage, and I get angry emails if I do not comply quickly enough.
- At the same time, it has become increasingly difficult (10 emails ore more are not uncommon) to get catalogues, jury protocols or pictures from the organizers of poster competitions or exhibitions that I announce and document on Posterpage. Often, the only way is to be present at the opening, but sometimes not even this helps. On the other hand, all travel expenses to Chaumont, Paris, Echirolles, Berlin, Warsaw, Brno, Trnava, Mexico etc. during the last ten years have always been paid by me.
- As a poster collector, I am interested not only in jpgs, but also in real posters on paper. When I ask for posters, the replies are usually "Of course my friend, I will send it tomorrow", but tomorrow never comes. Or "yes sure, as much as you want, please pick them up at my studio in Wladiwostok".
- I hear stories from poster designers like "A museum became aware of my posters through Posterpage, and then I gave them a complete set". When I asked for one poster for my collection, I got none. Another version is "I saw a competition on Posterpage, entered and won a prize", the outcome for me was the same as above.
- Visitors of Posterpage often assume, wrongly, that the posters they see are from my collection. In fact, I own only a tiny fraction of what I show. I read with envy the first sentence in Krzysztof Dydo's new book that all posters in his book are in the Dydo collection. Obviously, he is doing something right that I do wrong.
Enough complaining, this is only the tip of an iceberg anyway, but from now on I would like to have a paper copy of all the posters shown on Posterpage.
A few poster designers have been incredibly generous with me in the past, and they have nothing to worry about. How I handle an upcoming Toulouse-Lautrec web exhibition is another question that remains to be answered, but I think the time has come to distribute a bit more equally the burden of publishing Posterpage.