[artinfo] chto delat and pavilion unicredit bucharest

dora hegyi hegyidora1 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 19 00:38:20 CET 2010

*Dear all,*


*The exhibition Comrades of Time opens at Pavilion UniCredit in Bucharest on
February 18. "Angry Sandwichpeople, or In Praise of Dialectics", a work by
the Chto Delat collective, was disinvited from the show by the board of
Pavilion UniCredit because, in discussion with the curator, Dmitry Vilensky
(Chto Delat collective) suggested raising the issue of the project’s funding
and artist fees. The work can be viewed online at: http://vimeo.com/6879250


* *

*I would like the following text to serve as a continuation of the
discussion on the economy of the contemporary art world and the place of art
and creative labor in the world of capital.*

*here is the whole story

*Dmitry Vilensky (Chto Delat collective)*


Let’s begin with a simple tale.

Once upon a time there was an artist who was so naïve that he thought that
artists, as workers, should receive compensation for participation in shows
and screenings of their works. Despite the disappointing experiences he’d
had when he’d tried to press these issues in many projects, he thought it
made sense to try his best and see what came of it, especially when his art
works were invited to spaces marked by the obvious presence of capital (or
where one could presume its presence). When he made his modest requests, he
usually received the answer that there was no money. Neither for artist
fees, nor for travel, nor for production. Curators usually just asked him
and his colleagues to send copies of their films or print files of their
works – they would do the rest. Most artists thus had little chance to see
the many beautiful, important shows that were made with their work and thus
to grow professionally.

The artist was a member of a collective. This collective did not have a
gallery, and most of the videos they produced were self-financed (or
underfinanced) with the vague hope that one day they might be able to raise
money for a new production. To make matters worse, they worked under public

One day the artist received a polite letter from a nice curator whom he had
never met. The curator was pleased to invite the artist to screen a video
work at a show. She explained how the video was crucial to the whole concept
of the show. She even asked the artist to produce a new graphic piece that
would work in conjunction with the video.

The artist was thrilled to receive this invitation. He read the concept for
the show and discovered that it was filled with important ideas and stirring
expressions that he liked a lot. *The emancipatory aspect of modernity as an
unfinished project… The question of the contemporary emancipatory potential
of revolutionary ideas, of socialism and communism… The role of art in the
transformation of society*. And so on.

He thought to himself that it was terrific there were curators and venues
that worried about the issues dear to his heart. He read the name of the
place where he had been invited to exhibit: Pavilion
UniCredit<http://www.pavilionunicredit.org/en/index.html>in Bucharest.
This particular space was renowned for supporting the most
radical (even revolutionary) practices and some of the most leftist and
socially concerned international artists.

He recalled that this cutting-edge space with its radical agenda was run by
a guy he had once met; this man had also invited him to a big biennale he
was organizing. He also recalled that this fellow had complained his space
was very poorly financed because his country was the poorest in Europe. They
had begun to argue about just this fact. The artist felt that since this
fellow’s space was named in honor of a big bank, it might make sense to push
this bank for more solid support. Otherwise, when local institutions were
not treated as equal partners, and their hard work was poorly compensated,
you ended up with something that smacked of the neocolonial exploitation of
resources and people, of local miseries and inequalities.There was nothing
wrong with the bank’s sponsorship itself, he thought, but there was
something perverse about featuring the bank’s name without securing enough
funding to run a decent program and treat artists and contributors right....
those who are interested what has happened later please read the full text
here at:

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