When I meet someone in charge in the culture field or a cultural manager, especially in the field of the visual arts, he says to me invariably and immediately two things: that does not have money and that it is necessary to help the artists, who, he adds, have a very problematic situation.
Whenever I hear the expression ” to help the artists ” I just cannot understand if my speaker thinks of creating a protective congregation, or of launching an insurance, or of organizing a charity’s gala, or of organizing a campaign of the type ” Let’s save the whales ” or ” Save the Worcestershire” … Anyhow, I end up by having the sensation that what is wanted is to extend the protective mantle of the institutions on the artists (via subsidies again?), in order that they are less insecure ( and protest less, perhaps?).
I have never believed in the too rapidly adopted decisions when someone is faced directly a problem or a situation, and even less in decisions without analysis of the reasons. The solutions that are adopted under the pressure of the moment usually end up by creating another problem, in the medium or long term, just as it is happens in other fields of activity.
In case of the artists and the viability of their projects, I believe that we are confronted to the same scenario: solutions are looked without knowing the rationale of the current situation and without separating sufficiently the grain from the straw. In some cases I seem to perceive the flavor of maintaining the status quo, a certain corporatism and a clear irresponsibility of the decision-makers.
But as I don’t want to only denunciate without contributing elements of reflection or of change for the debate, allow me to express here 10 ideas concerning how I understand that artists should be helped, all things being equal.
In my opinion, it helps the artists when:
– the artistic education is promoted,
– the infrastructures’ managers can evaluate at the same time the artistic interest of an offer and the assessment and the corresponding results,
– there is coordination between the infrastructures and the programs,
– the public diffusion of art is not penalized,
– the acquisition, donation or deposit of art’s works is not penalized fiscally and / or is considered of public utility,
– it helps with fair balance the different visual arts,
– the possibilities of public presence of the artists are stimulated,
– there are established mechanisms (facilities, programs, resources …) for international exchanges,
– it helps to consolidate networks of museums or galleries for the diffusion of artist’s works,
– the decision-makers trust more the capacities of the individuals that the weight of the institutions, when someone entrusts more in the tools than in the free helps , more in the projects than in the subsidies.
Obviously this is a complex issue, but I wish I could help to launch a debate. In addition, for the moment, dreaming is still free …