January 27, 2023

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When politicians become contributors of voter tax money

When politicians become contributors of voter tax money

Debate: The majority of politicians in Stavanger in their budget proposal decided to allocate NOK 1.5 million annually to NuArt for three years. This money comes from an unknown source in addition to the cultural budget.

Eileen Riboli-Mellberg is an artist, craftswoman and commercial representative on the Stavanger Municipal Art Committee. She gave this debate post, written as a letter to politicians in Stavanger, to other artists on Tuesday. They stand behind the text.
  • Ellen Riboli-Milberg
    Ellen Riboli-Milberg

    Artist, craftsman and professional representative on the Art Committee of the Municipality of Stavanger

published: published:

  • This debate publication has been signed by artist organizations and a number of artists. See the list below.
icondiscussion

This is the topic of discussion. The post was written by an external contributor, quality assurance by the discussion section of Aftenbladet. Opinions and analyzes are the property of the author.

I know very well how well the cultural administration is doing in Stavanger, and I have also experienced good and trusting cooperation between myself and cultural politicians as a professional representative on the municipal arts committee. Therefore, this case surprised me a lot, and I have many questions, most of all to our policy.

I haven’t seen NuArt in any of the public application registries recently, and I’m not sure what the basis for the decision on the sudden, massive three-year subsidy of 1.5 million annually – a total of 4.5 million, which we can read about in Aftenbladet November 23 – is based on

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Based on what was?

Majority parties make this decision, using new cultural resources, based on what? Have they seen any professional vision, content renewal, and technically and professionally significant programs that support this huge scholarship? Poetry street art (street art; ed.mrk.) has become relevant in a whole new way in the past year, or is this just based on what used to be?

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This is not a festival that has a limited time, and you can choose to associate with it or not. It annually results in permanent visual expressions in the public space with which one has to contend – whether good, as in some, or bad, as in the case of many. A lot of this is also decaying and looking like wilted flowers on the wall. There is no working maintenance plan, which is a normal part of other public art projects.

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differential treatment between Ocean And all the other expressions of contemporary art and crafts in the public space are enormous. Where is the quality assurance? Who says that “most people want this” as we read politicians say? Is it based on a survey? Does this mean that it is in the best interest of the city? From whom have the politicians here received career advice? Is it in the direction you want to move forward, by repeating what has been repeated for many years?

Øyvind Jacobsen (Ap) admitted at the Open Meeting on Art in Public Space on Monday 28 November – where I first made this post – that there was no professional experience behind this decision. It is only based on the wishes of the politicians.

Other forms of artistic expression in the public space must be associated with long bureaucratic and democratic processes with political, administrative and majority professional representatives behind them, ensuring quality. But in this case, large funds are distributed seemingly uncritically for specific visual expression in the public space.

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A limited liability company

Several spoke at the meeting and commented on how ridiculous this award seemed, compared to the presentation the municipality had just made on the system regarding art in public spaces.

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John Øivind Eggesbø, director of the Art School in Stavanger, noted that for many years NuArt presented only male artists, and that the festival failed to create local anchoring in the sense of giving space to local citizens. street art– artists. It has been pointed out that the festival mostly has one curator. It has a lack of opportunities for input from the neighborhood and those affected, and no geographic plan or maintenance plan.

NuArt is operated by a joint-stock company (Reed Projects AS), which can award dividends or pay disproportionately high wages. The company has been criticized for bidding street artArtists’ fees are minimal, but this is difficult to verify as there is no publicly available information.

The tip of the spear is a view of the future.
NuArt has long gone mainstream
He played his role as a spearhead.

Only the city’s anniversary gets more

This prize is quite formidable when you know how little funding is available for other art projects in the public space and how big of a battle it is for them in this field. Actually I will use the term crazy. If you take the amount that Aftenbladet reports is for Reed’s projects and add it to the money that was planned to be spent on art in the public space, that equates to approx. 15 percent of the funds for three years. This is a lot compared to other assignments and projects in the same period. Only the city’s anniversary gets more.

I know all this, as a professional artist, consultant on public art projects and also a professional representative on the Art Committee of the Municipality of Stavanger, and I want more answers.

other options

I don’t say that street art They should be excluded, but I say this expression and that technique should be treated in the same way as all other contemporary works in the public domain, and so should all hard-working professional artists and craftsmen. Why this longstanding distinction? What on earth happened?

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If the money is fresh, as the politicians say — and if it “didn’t come at the expense of anyone else in the field of art,” as Oyvind Jacobsen defended the decision at the aforementioned meeting — it doesn’t make me feel reassured and get fewer questions. It’s great that there are new treatments! Couldn’t they eagerly go to some places where the professional cultural field is bleeding? To promote art? Do you want to reach the other professional arts to the population in new ways? Increasing the purchasing budget for both the municipality and the Stavanger Art Museum, so that more contemporary art is available for future generations? Fostering Rask Response and Grant Schemes for the Free Domain? The list is long, and the field can provide a lot of good input!

The tip of the spear is a view of the future. NuArt has long gone mainstream, and has played its role as a spearhead.

Perhaps there are new spearheads that could end up putting Stavanger on the map? Get out of conformity, dear Politicians, please! There is no shame in detouring.


This letter to the municipality and submission of the discussion are also endorsed and signed by:

  • Board of Directors of Bildende Kunstneres Forening Rogaland (BKFR), by Vice Chairman Espen Birkedal
  • Norwegian craftsmen of Western Norway, led by Linnea Calder
  • Natasha Askelund, Artist W Writer at Aftenbladet
  • Anna Elle, artist and professional representative on the Stavanger Municipal Art Committee
  • John Øivind Eggesbø, Director of the Art School in Rogaland
  • David Calder, Artisan
  • Tove Comedal, artist
  • Åse Anda, artist
  • Solveig Landa, artist
  • Snøfrid Eiene, artist
  • Elin Kjøsnes, artist
  • Marit Anstad, artist
  • Ingeborg Kvami, artist
  • Helen Espedal Selvage, artist
  • Margaret Anstad, artist
  • Ann Cloving, artist
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