naivsuper is an art organization, an artist collective, a platform, a book publisher, a film producer, distributor and music label based in Berlin, Germany.
naivsuper is Claudio Pfeifer and Stephane Leonard.
It was created in 2003 and has been growing slowly but steady eversince.
The name comes from a norwegian book the two discovered a long time ago. The book was written by Erlend Loe, who at some point personally approved the use of this name.
naivsuper combines the collective output, ideas and experiments of the two artists. It seems to have become a lifelong journey for them to experiment with artistic possibilities, to do whatever feels necessary, good and right, to regularly change perspectives, to be an artist, a curator, a publisher and an entrepeneur at the same time.
As a book and music publisher naivsuper releases Claudio Pfeiferīs and Stephane Leonardīs work as well as work by young and talented
artists, musicians and filmmakers from around the world. Every publication is handled with a lot of love and care for detail.
The goal is to make art affordable without compromising itīs quality. Small editions, minimalistic design and packaging, hand-picked papers...
naivsuper was created by the photographer and filmmaker Claudio Pfeifer and the drawing, sound and video artist Stephane Leonard.
In 2002 they met at the University of the Arts in Bremen, Germany and discovered that they shared a lot of love for small self-made, DIY art, music, books and collectables.
Both have been working as a team since the day they met in 2002. They are still and have always been involved in their own projects but naivsuper has become a huge part in their artistic output.
Besides the publication of books and music, their own works as well as others, they made films, record covers, posters, curated art shows and concerts, organized performances and happenings and collaborate on drawings and photographs and the combination of the two.
Their style, their ideas and energy have always been influenced by the mutual curiosity in the arts and music, the ever mysterious search for communication, interaction, inner and outer body experiences and the concept of īdo it yourselfī.
unedited Interview with Stephane Leonard from 2010
"We never had any kind of business plan whatsoever. We just knew that we wanted to create something that involves sound and visual arts and we wanted to share it with other people as well as getting as many friends involved as possible, which is why we decided to publish CDs in the beginning.
The first 3 releases featured our own music and artworks. We burned the CDs on our computer and silk-screen printed the cover at the art school. They came in small editions of 50 and we mostly gave them away to friends or sold a few at concerts and shows that we booked and organized ourselves.
In fact at that time we loved silk-screen printing so much that we even found our own silk-screen printing class which was supposed to be an alternative to all the stuck-up painting and sculpting classes. We were the only members in our printing class but we loved to spend day after day locked up in that studio listening to great music and getting high from all that colour fumes which were probably also responsible for spending lots and lots of money we didnīt have on our fourth release.
The fourth CD was a īrealī CD and not a CDR with a custom made packaging and a unique print and design on the cover as well as a handmade silk-screen printed inlay. The music was made by the great composer duo dis.playce who we knew through Claudioīs brother (a teacher at a University for modern composition and music). The dis.playce CD is still one of the finest we have ever published but it also brought us a lot of debts and almost ruined us.
From that moment on we kept on focussing on CDRs and small editions. We continued making a few īrealī CDs with the composer collective stock11.de who helped with the financing, but to be honest CDRs are much more fun because we could print the covers ourselves and we were able to do smaller editions (usually around 250).
In 2006 we fused naivsuper with a very nice vinyl only label called Happy Zloty which is why we also have a few super sweet vinyl releases in our catalog.
In 2005 we started to expand naivsuper and created naivsuper Film. We both became heavily involved in filmmaking, shooting a lot of music videos and short films, as well as some documentaries and really wanted some sort of platform. At this point a few new people got involved and the collective slowly began to grow.
In 2008 we realized that we are not really selling any CDs anymore - not that we ever cared about that but we noticed that people became less and less interested. The internet is so full of free music, weblabels popped up every where and it kind of seemed like other folks started to take over. We had also started to let a company print the last covers because we both had finished art school, moved to Berlin and couldnīt use our beloved printing studio anymore, which did take a lot of fun out of the publishing process. We were too busy making films and other art that we decided to slow down and only publish one or maybe two tiny releases a year. We never really considered our releases to be suitable for any music industry, because we see them more as collectables, art pieces and conceptual work, which is why we started pulling out of our distribution deals and "marketing" possibilities and exclusively made them available in our own online shop.
In 2009 we started to notice that in the last few years we have spent more money on buying art books, magazines, photography and drawing fanzines than on buying new music... We realized that after all we might be more into printed stuff and so we decided to publish books ourselves and all of the sudden naivsuper Book was born. It also came in very handy because in real life we are a photographer and a drawing artist so that way we also get to publish our own work. In the meantime we started looking for talented drawing artists and photographers and some of them we asked if we can make a book of their works and some said yes and now we are friends and again the collective is growing.
So right now we have a few new releases in the pipeline and if we werenīt so busy they would already be published but with naivsuper you have to be patient.
We are kind of slow and we always think that we will reach our peak by the time we are 70 years old...
We usually decide everything together and try to make sure that naivsuper keeps a certain handwriting, style and quality. We handpick the artist, the format, the paper and the printing company. We are also very selective about who we want to work with because a release means much more than just paper or vinyl to us. We want the people to believe in naivsuper and to become a member of our small family. We would like to share our love for the arts, books and music with the folks behind every release.
Real friendship is hard to find in a very competitive art world and especially in Berlin where everyone is so poor and always in need of contacts and references and opportunities to show their work... with naivsuper it is more important to be able to get together, share a drink, talk about paper and new ideas and hopefully find a way to save the Oceans, the Animals and the Rainforests along the way." (Stephane Leonard, 2010)
In 2011 Claudio Pfeifer found another publishing house called Pogobooks which mainly focusses on photography and related art works.
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