The Value of Our Love
Round Table Debate on Artistic Practice and its Economic Reality
20.04.2013 | Art Brussels
Moderation: Andrea Phillips
Throughout history artists have taken on the role of seismographs and critical observers of the (cultural) crisis, but also as the creators of models of survival and escape. Ever since the beginning of modern art, experimental artistic practices and innovative strategies developed – all shaping the institutional critique of their own time.
However, the ‘space of negotiable resistance’ as one could describe the working space in which artists maneuver, has become increasingly narrow – not least because of the economic powers that underlie its current structure. The powerful art market thrives on a model of growth and profit, which puts pressure on the sustainable relationships between the artists, dealers, curators and other actors in the field. By capitalizing on (emerging) artistic expression, the current system corners artistic autonomy instead of stimulating it. And by extension, cultural critique, one of the cornerstones of a democratic society, is threatened to become a commodity and pawn within this system.
The assumed mutuality between the artist and the dealer, based on a shared love of cultural production, masks a set of questions about the value of art: how is it created and how is it shared? If artistic practice is caught in a catch 22 with the market on which it operates, can we think of alternative tactics or counter moves within the system? Where do conflicts emerge when trying to put this into practice? Should this relation come to an end or are there ways to build new forms of alliances between all parties involved?
The Value of Our Love was an initiative of Jubilee in collaboration with Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, editor of the Manifesta Journal and free lance curator, and Andrea Phillips, Director of the Doctoral Research Programmes of Goldsmiths University, London.
The debate opened the floor to a wide selection of artists and other experts in the field that will speak and think about the impact of the current economic system on the modes of artistic production. Together, we will debate possible trajectories for change towards a new economy, also for the arts.
The various chapters of the debate were introduced by short artistic presentations by Lenio Kaklea (FR), performer, dancer, choreographer, Paris / Dilettant (SE), initiators of The Public Office – an open space for work and knowledge exchange, Stockholm / Bik van der Pol (NL), artists and initiators of School of Missing Studies, Rotterdam / Agency (BE), artist Brussels.
The discussions was fueled by the valuable knowledge of the public present and Jan Boelen (BE), product designer and artistic director Z33, Hasselt / Igor Byttebier (BE), economist and founder Dadelen.be, Gent / Fucking Good Art (NL), traveling artists' magazine or editorial project for research in-and-through art, Rotterdam / Guy Gypens (BE), director Kaaitheater, Brussels / Nikita Kadan (UA), artist & activist, Kiev / Sally De Kunst (CH/BE), curator and director of the Belluard Festival, Fribourg / Stijn Maes (BE), O.C.A.M. workplace for visual artists, Mechelen / Anna Manubens (ES), curator & art manager, currently working for Auguste Orts, Brussels / Sari Depreeuw (BE), attorney and specialised in copyright and media law, Brussel / Josine De Roover (BE), co-ordinator NICC and De Voorkamer, Antwerp & Lier / Jack Segbars (NL), artist and critic, Rotterdam / Alain Servais (BE), art collector, Brussels / Kris Vleeschouwer (BE), artists and collaborator of arteconomy, Antwerp / Tom Viaene (BE), journalist and critic for Rekto:Verso / Matteo Lucchetti & Judith Wielander (IT/BE), curators of the research project Visible, Brussels.