Artist from… by peterfuchs
October 14, 2008, 7:06 pm
Filed under: Art as Gift Research blog | Tags:

An artist form Romania, 0 Euro artistic income (copyright: Andreja Kuluncic)

A Croatian artist, Andreja Kuluncic, made a series of public works in the bus-shelters of Frankfurt a Main in 2002 during the Manifesta 4 exhibition which portrays artist from various European countries (her fellow exhibitors in Manifesta 4), along with the average salary of the artist country of origin. We can also find out how much money the given artist is earning via his/her direct artistic conduct.

No surprise, the only artist who at least come close to the average salary of her region of from the Netherlands. But anyway, what would we expect for? Manifesta is a progressive, contemporary art world event, based round the main themes of social engagement and are heavily engaged into the institution network of emerging, young artist. Whatsoever, if you like my definition or not, it might be not easy to point out exactly what Manifesta is, but it is easy what is not: it is not a market oriented event for selling valuable merchandise in the form of oil-canvas paintings. Take a look on the webpage of the main event, and you will find out that more emphasis was put on social interaction, communication and immaterial works, which does not generate market value.

Andreja’s work also reflects to this issue: a workforce, – the artists – which does not earn it’s living from its artistic conduct, but evidently not because these people do art as ‘Sunday Painters’ or as a hobby, but because their capital can not be exchanged to monetary goods in a neo-liberal society. According to the numbers which we can find on Andreja’s works,  the product of these people’s creativity has no value on a market which mainly driven by galleries and art fairs. Of course, it might be true that later these young people will earn most of their income trough their art, but be honest, this presumes an audience who are open to accept the social engagement of the artist as labor, and compensate it, even the work does not have a clear physical manifestation.

Don’t forget to check out Andreja Kuluncic’s other works too!.


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