Valeries Unterricht in Athen oder ΤΟ ΜΑΘΗΜΑ ΤΗΣ ΒΑΛΕΡΙ ΣΤΗΝ ΑΘΗΝΑ


Wiederabdruck aus der Publikation: «Valeries Unterricht in Athen oder Το μάθημα της Βάλερι στην Αθήνα», Sofia Bempeza, Zürich 2014. Produziert im Rahmen der Ausstellung: WIE WIR LEBEN WOLLEN. Kollektive Kämpfe um Care-Arbeit, kuratiert von Katharina Morawek, 11. April – 7. September 2014, Shedhalle Zürich.

Die Publikation kann in der Shedhalle bezogen werden.

No Thanks ArtPrize

October 2014
I’m not keeping the money.

Last week I learned I was a jury pick for ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. Shortly after I found out I was on the short list for the public vote as well. At that point I had a shot at the $200,000 public vote prize, the $200,000 juried prize, and a 1 in 4 chance of winning a $20,000 jury prize for my category.

It’s a lot of money.

I didn’t enter ArtPrize with the hope of winning. I was curated into a show during ArtPrize. I had heard a bit about the contest and decided to give it a chance and have the piece reach an audience it may not otherwise. I was certain I had no shot at winning. I liked that my piece was understood and appreciated by critics and the public alike.

ArtPrize is hard to explain. It’s a project of Rick DeVos, who comes from a very wealthy family. How did they make that money? Founding Amway – Multi-Level Marketing, which is a polite term for a pyramid scheme. They’re married into the family behind Blackwater, the private military outfit. They’re against unions and advocate for school voucher programs. They’ve been major donors to Focus on the Family, Acton Institute, Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich’s campaigns. You may have read that article I sent last week, or about their unionbusting and plan to defund the Left in Mother Jones. (I encourage you to read them. It made my choice much easier.)

What bothers me the most is the DeVos family has, for generations, been on the wrong side of the fight for civil rights for LGBT people. And they back their opinions with millions in political money against civil rights. It’s a long story, but the end is: they haven’t changed.

Tomorrow night, I may win tens of thousands of dollars of their money.

Now, I could do a lot with that money. I’m trying to build up Public Forum. I’m trying to raise money for the Center for Artistic Activism so we can continue doing our work. I mean, I don’t have to tell you I could use the money.

But I had to ask myself, how bad does it have to be for me to say no to the money? In this situation, where is my line? And I realized, “oh, it’s behind me.”

So today I pledged, if I win I will not keep any of the money. I will hand over all my award money to the LGBT Fund of Grand Rapids. I will also volunteer to come back to Grand Rapids with the Center for Artistic Activism to work with LGBT to fight for equality.

The Center for Artistic Activism has worked for equal rights for LGBT people in Russia and the former Yugoslavia, in the most homophobic countries in the world. We’re prepared for Western Michigan.

The reason I became an artist is because I believe it helps create free human beings. It can show us other ways of looking at the world, other ways the world can be. It makes us more empathetic, more understanding, and more open. It helps us grow. I think the money behind ArtPrize is working against, what I see as, the spirit of art itself.

Steve Lambert

situating oneself – laboratory in barcelona

What does is mean to struggle against precarity, globalization and neoliberalism in embodied terms? How do we forge networks of care, post-national struggles and solidarities in our everyday? When do we resist displacement and how do we resist through displacement? How do we think consistency and sustainability? What terms serve us to think an ethics and politics of displacement – situated/adrift, local/global, intimate/alienated, individual/collective, independent/interdependent, coming/going, flight/promise, transversality/intersectionality? What are the ways in which contemporary practices of displacement are produced by the neoliberal paradigm and embedded within structures and systems of governance?

1-5th October 2014 Politics and tactics within displacement. An international laboratory exploring the embodied politics of relating across places, contexts and social spheres. 

Assembly for Art Workers and Opening in Berlin






Art Workers’ Assembly in Berlin

As neoliberalism holds a tight grips over our societies, its violent symptoms have become normalized for all of us. While exploitation and censorship are commonplace, the ingenuity and creative abilities of art workers are hijacked by cultural managers and institutions. In this context, the reassessment of the situation of precarious art/workers, already undertaken by international groups of art workers, continues to be a pressing issue. How can we further challenge ourselves to re-imagine fairer relationships to institutions, organizations, networks and economies involved in the production and consumption of art and culture? What joint actions are possible in our collective search for cultural spaces and educational platforms beyond the logic of neoliberal economy? What new ways of unionizing precarious labor exist and could they be adapted to cultural workers?

Presentations by members of ArtLeaks (Corina Apostol, Vladan Jeremic, Federico Geller), AG Arbeit (Haben…

View original post 366 more words

Solidarity Wins! Frieze New York Goes Union


Solidarity Wins_ Frieze New York Goes UnionUnions, including Teamsters Joint Council 16 and IATSE, reached an agreement with Frieze New York regarding its hiring practices. This year, the art fair will hire some union labor to construct the fair’s tent on Randall’s Island. Starting in 2015, Frieze New York has committed to hiring 100% union labor. We applaud Frieze’s effort in supporting fair labor practices and its long-term commitment to set an example for the rest of the industry.

Arts & Labor has stood in solidarity with the unions throughout this effort.

Why art doesn’t pay



There are expectations in the arts, as with any other industry, to value the time, effort, and labor of others. It’s just harder to figure out how to go after fair payment by arts institutions when the promise—of even a meager stipend—remains an uncommon practice.”

Why art doesn’t pay by Corinna Kirsch on Art F City:

*thank you Claudia Sandoval for the link!

View original post