Back in 2016 artists in Iceland launched a campaign to promote fair payment for their creative work. The We Pay Visual Artists Campaign was set up through the Association of Icelandic Artists (Samband íslenskra myndlistarmanna, SÍM). At the core of the campaign is the Contribution Contract outlining the participation and support of artists in exhibitions drawn up through a working group of Icelandic cultural institutions.
An Icelandic representative was invited to be part of EARight’s original working group discussions on artist payments and a key reference point for the group has been the Swedish MU contract. The MU contract, as discussed at our original workshops, has been the basis of comparable contracts in Norway and Denmark, and has been referred to in the initial research of the Paying Artists campaign in the UK.
The discussions and implementation of a national agreed plan are on going and useful links to associated information can be found by following the links below:
– A Perpetual Human Rights Violation Against Visual Artists by lawyer Katrín Oddsdóttir
– This is the future; how do we get there? by Jóna Hlíf Halldórsdóttir, former chairperson of SÍM
– Table showing estimated operating costs of museums and how much they plan to pay artists in 2017
In alignment with the work of the campaign, at the end of 2017 Reykjavík City Council approved proposals for an additional contribution to the Reykjavík Art Museum of ISK 8.5 million (€70.000) for new museum rules to remunerate visual artists preparation and participation in exhibitions during the 2018 programme. The proposals have been developed in collaboration with the Alliance of Icelandic Artists (BÍL), as stated in the Culture and Tourism Council’s Action Plan for the Reykjavík City Cultural Policy. The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists (SÍM) have expressed their satisfaction and support for the new proposed procedures. With this agreement, the Reykjavík Museum of Art is able to greatly increase the payments that artists receive for display in the museum and cater for their demands for increased payments and recognition of their working contribution to the Icelandic cultural economy.