Saturday, July 23, 2011

European Cultural Policies, 2015: A report with Scenarios on the Future of Public Funding for Contemporary Art in Europe:edited by Maria Lind, Raimund Minichbauer:ISBN 3-9501762-4-1, book report, by craniv boyd.

European Cultural Policies, 2015: A report with Scenarios on the Future of Public Funding for Contemporary Art in Europe:edited by Maria Lind, Raimund Minichbauer: with Gerald Raunig, Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt, Oleg Kireev, Branka Curcic, Frédéric Jacquemin, Cornelia Sollfrank, Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin, Tone Hansen. ISBN 3-9501762-4-1, book report, by craniv boyd.


Edited, in 2005, under the ægis of both institutions of, the International Artist Studio Programme in Sweden, in Stockholm, and the European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies, in Vienna, for the occasion of a panel discussion, held in London for the Frieze foundation art Fair, --European Cultural Policies, 2015: A report with Scenarios on the Future of Public Funding for Contemporary Art in Europe, is a small book that attempts to project forward what the public money picture for current art could be in the year 2015.


The authors are various Northern Europeans, some Eastern and Central Europeans, who were at the time of writing, commence-to-mid levels, of their respective, art administrative callings. Who utilized, limited career experience to predict the future of European arts funding. Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt, Tone Hansen, Frédéric Jacquemin, and Maria Lind; write guess-work about what, according to their opinions and personal experience managing smaller tax money funded contemporary art spaces, what the likely future funding possibilities and what the cultural climate, the back-drop of cultural policy making is in varying national theaters, such as but not limited to: Belgium, Scotland, Norway and Sweden.



Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt, proffers a case-study in constituent country, in the United Kingdom: Scotland, but with out study. Her contribution has an intimidating 35 footnotes, yet 16 of the citations are to World Wide Web sites. The head of the now defunct Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art, located in Helsinki must have been qualified at the time to talk of cultural policy making in Scotland, because Finland, and Glasgow are close to one another geographically, what with Ryan Air and all.


Tone Hansen, is generous, in the text they wrote speaks, of artists in Norway being distanced from Museums and institutions, in Norway that choose to outsource exhibition organization, of the institutions. It is one of the rare instances where the essay takes into account a dichotomy of despite increases funding for culture in Norway, artists still have a hard time of living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, Oslo.


In his contribution titled Belgian Barbarians, Frédéric Jacquemin sheds some light onto not only cultural political streams in a smaller densely populated European country. But how political climates in Belgium at the time of his writing, evinced by more votes then for, de Vlaamse Belang, Flemish conservatives, and the dynamic of Flemish, French, and German speakers who are all, Belgians and providing some insight as to how public art funding monies is disbursed according to specific ethnic and linguistic criterion.


Maria Lind in her introduction devotes time to, about what and where the Frieze Foundation, has its money, with a kind of respect for the complex entity that is: both updated worlds fair, contemporary art periodical, and grant giver to artists. The appreciative explanatory tone is perhaps required as the "report" is in part commissioned for the Frieze art fair in October of 2005, but a flavor of ambition, in her description of what Frieze is in Maria Lind's own words, is palpable. It tastes of an author who would like to spearhead a large organization for contemporary art, by proving they can say in less than five paragraphs what Frieze, in this case, stands for.



To have the transcripts of an Art fair panel discussion collected and printed in Slovakia, and title the issue as a Report, instead of Transcript is strange, or better yet, corrupt. Because the book is a printed form of a compact ten to twenty minute talk that a European arts administrator, in the field of current art, held for a niche London public. Speaking of where they work and hazarding informed guesses as to what kind of art, European Governments would fund ten years hence.


Statistical tables, pie charts, and hard scientific method and a thorough report of operating costs i.e evidential fact are missing, at hand are conversational, laywoman/layman essays, conversational only if you are a person used to listening in on the critical theory peppered conversations of contemporary art curators. The essays of the report at times cite emails and cross-reference web addresses. The most transparency, of this: Report with Scenarios on the Future of Public Funding for Contemporary Art in Europe happens on its cover where, as a design element the production costs of said book are enumerated. Inside the book however, there are hermetic texts that list strange names, odd places, and direct in the notes section to ethereal web addresses that look like dens and havens for spammers with two dots prior the "com" or country domain.


Although with the singular contributions, the book, raises questions about regional funding and provincial concerns of Leitkultur. Viewed, six years from its publishing, and four years away from the scenarios it describes, readers could ask if the local European art funding trends reflective of Globalism, forecasted by the authors still hold true, or not. By craniv boyd. 

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