In 2015, a collective discussion took place in Belgium, organised by Flanders Arts Institute, IETM and deBuren. Participants were policy makers and researchers. At the panel discussion, Pascal Gielen, Professor in Sociology of Art and Cultural Politics at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, presented the main insights of the research report “The Value of Culture” prepared in collaboration with sociologists, economists, philosophers and psychologists.
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The Guerrilla Girls, formed in New York in 1985, are an anonymous group of feminist, female artists devoted to fighting sexism, racism and inequality within the art world. They have just released the results of their latest investigation into diversity in the art world. The results are part of an exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in London from 1st October 2016.
The Norwegian report we reported on several months ago, showed that female artists in Norway have consistently lower incomes than male artists. In a recent Arts Professional salary survey, the gender gap in the arts sector is greater than the national average, despite the fact that women are better educated.
“Increased public spending has probably resulted in an increase in the number of artists rather than an improved economic situation among the existing artists” says project leader Knut Løyland. An influx of professional artists in times where the conditions are good, is completely in line with the findings of several Norwegian and International studies. The findings are based on a survey that was sent out to members of the Norwegian artist organisations and the recipients of Government scholarships/grants.
In considering and debating issues regarding Exhibition Payment Rights within the seminar groups we have continually returned to the problem of how the artist builds a clear and compelling argument. Governments and strategic agencies will demand statistics and figures clearly indicating proven areas of growth, strength and weakness. This is another reason why, as individual artists, we need to work with a collective voice and ask questions of our whole creative sector so that the public and the government understand our arguments, and we are in a strong position to negotiate.