WAGES FOR WAGES AGAINST
is a campaign for the fair remuneration of artists in Switzerland, better work conditions, and an alternative economy of the arts.
Most art organizations—private, public, for profit or non-profit—in Switzerland do not systematically or sufficiently remunerate artists who take part in their programs, and do not make contracts to clarify labour relations.
We, artists, want to be fairly paid for the services we provide to art organizations. We do not think exposure is enough as payment.
We want a contract for each engagement, an advance on the fee and on the production budget, before starting to work.
We want to have a say and full disclosure regarding the budget of projects we are involved in. We want to know how much the other participants are remunerated and what is their production budget.
We do not accept any form of discrimination towards women, people of color, trans* and non-binary people, people with disabilities, single parents, and other marginalized populations.
We require art organizations to be accountable and transparent, to pay all artists they work with, provide a contract, and put a distinctive line on their operating budget for artist fees.
We demand public authorities, private and public foundations to establish new policies fostering the payment of artist fees and better work conditions for artists in regard to the projects they financially support.
Our goal is to minimize precarity, financial inequalities and asymmetries within the arts. We wish to open the field to individuals who cannot afford to work for free, and to allow non-commercial practices to flourish.
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for forthcoming talks and events:
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Saturday July 9th, 2021, 6:30 pm
Istituto Svizzero, Via Vecchio Politecnico 3, 20121 Milan
With Wages For Wages Against & Art Workers Italia
The debates about the remuneration of artists have been brewing in the field of contemporary art for quite some time. These discussions go hand in hand with ideas and values that are inscribed in artistic work. Collectives such as Wages For Wages Against (WFWA) or Art Workers Italia (AWI) campaign for fair wages for artists and other people working in this field, and in doing so they also initiate very fundamental discussions about working conditions. At the same time, the opinion that artists in particular work out of passion and that financial remuneration is secondary in this sense is still widespread. Especially in this context, a gendered perspective is also urgent. «Apart from domestic and care work» writes Hito Steyerl, «art is the industry with the most unpaid labor around. […] This labor is largely performed by woman».
Tiphanie Blanc (Wages For Wages Against), Giulia Mengozzi and Elena Radice (both of Art Workers Italia) explore these and other matters in the conversation How we work, moderated by Gioia Dal Molin.
Initiated in March 2017 by Ramaya Tegegne, Wages For Wages Against (WFWA) is a campaign for the remuneration of artists in Switzerland and elsewhere, as well as an alternative and fairer economy of the arts. WFWA aims to raise awareness of precarious and exploitative working conditions we are faced with in our daily life through public and collective debates and question the ideological underpinnings of the current situation.
Founded in 2020, AWI – Art Workers Italia is the first organization in Italy born with the aim of giving voice to contemporary art workers. AWI is a self-organised, autonomous and non-partisan association that collaborates with experts to build ethical, contractual and legal tools to protect art workers. AWI works in coordination with other initiatives in Italy and abroad, and in solidarity with all the precarious workers, to reform the field and make it more inclusive, sustainable and transparent. AWI acts for the recognition of work and its regulation, the redistribution of resources and the elimination of all forms of exploitation.
Saturday July 3rd, 2021, 6 pm
Librairie La Dispersion, 11 rue des Vieux-Grenadiers, 1205 Genève
by the collective Wages For Wages Against
(description post below)
SHOW NR. 4
7 pm Reading by Fanny Lallart & SHOW
Fanny Lallart will talk about fatigue and rest during the lockdown period, her economic life, her restrained daily life, her aspirations and her struggles. Fanny Lallart lives and works in Montreuil. Between collective thinking practices and transmission through writing, her work revolves around words sharing. Thinking in groups, meeting with alternatives actors to the glodal systems, learning collectively from each other and writing, constitutes the essence of her multidisciplinary artistic practice. In 2019, she wrote 11 textes sur le travail gratuit, l’art et l’amour (eleven texts on free labor, art and love) for her art school graduation.
SHOW is a student magazine founded in 2019 by a group of ENSAPC students. SHOW is a participatory publication thought as a critical tool within our school. It relays articles, poems and images that are rooted in a reflexive approach to our own conditions: as students, as workers, as women, etc. Born of activist work after several months of mobilization while our school was changing direction, it exists in a desire to create traces of student movements in the schools. Indeed, it is surprising to see how little memory there is of the debates that took place in these institutions, where the students are passing through, but the issues stay the same. Through the sharing of resources, the collective deconstruction of the structures that surround us and emancipation through writing, we attempt to redefine the economic and social contexts we inhabit. This journal is a witness to this work and a space for valuing these narratives that failed to find a place in the school. revue.show
Fanny Lallart nous parle de fatigue et de repos à l’heure du confinement, de son économie, de son quotidien contraint, de ses aspirations et de ses luttes. Fanny Lallart vit et travaille à Montreuil. Entre pratiques collectives de réflexion et transmission par l’écriture, son travail s’articule autour du partage de la parole. Réfléchir en groupe, rencontrer les acteur·rices d’alternatives aux systèmes dominants, apprendre collectivement les un·es des autres et écrire, constitue l’essentiel de sa pratique artistique multidisciplinaire. Elle écrit en 2019 un recueil intitulé 11 textes sur le travail gratuit, l’art et l’amour pour son diplôme de fin d’études.
SHOW est une revue étudiante fondée en 2019 par un groupe d’étudiantxes de l’ENSAPC. SHOW est une publication participative pensée comme un outil critique au sein de notre école. Elle est un relais d’articles, de poèmes, d’images qui s’ancrent dans une démarche réflexive par rapport à nos propres conditions : celles en tant qu’étudiantx, en tant que travailleurxs, en tant que femmes, etc. Née d’un travail militant à l’issue de plusieurs mois de mobilisation pendant que notre école changeait de direction, elle existe dans une volonté de créer des traces des engagements étudiants dans les écoles. En effet, il est troublant de constater à quel point il n’existe pas de mémoires des réflexions engagées dans ces institutions où les étudiantxs passent et les problématiques demeurent. À travers un travail de mise en partage de ressources, de déconstruction collective des structures qui nous entourent et d’émancipation par l’écriture, nous tentons de rédéfinir les contextes économiques et sociaux que nous habitons. Cette revue en est le témoin et est un espace pour valoriser ces récits qui ne trouvaient pas de place dans l’école. revue.show
Sunday June 20th, 2021, 6 pm
Treize, 24 rue Moret, 75011 PARIS
by Wages For Wages Against collective
7pm lecture by Lili Reynaud-Dewar "Quand Maïa rappe à la Villa"
We are not where we need to be but, we ain't where we were is the first volume of a new series of publications by the collective Wages For Wages Against that reports on active research engaged within the artistic professions and institutions since 2017. Its aim is to question the underlying neoliberal logics in the contemporary art world, by orienting our object of study towards the struggles that impact it. With this publication, our hope is to put into practice various values specific to the campaign: the existence of a systematic and fair remuneration, a desire for transparency, the sharing of knowledge, and the visibilization of demands proper to the field of the visual arts and concomitant struggles. It is the result of militant experiences, at the convergence of our individual experiences and collective questionings.
With texts by Tiphanie Blanc, Antonella Corsani, Fanny Lallart, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Ramaya Tegegne and an interview with Outrage Collectif.
Design by Ann Kern
In French, English translations available (soon) on our website.
With the support of Migros Pour-cent culturel, La Mobilière, Centre national des arts plastiques & Pro Helvetia.
'We are not where we need to be but, we ain't where we were.' est le premier volume d’une série de publications du collectif Wages For Wages Against qui rend compte de recherches actives, engagées au sein des professions et des institutions artistiques depuis 2017. Son objectif est de questionner les logiques néo-libérales qui sous-tendent les milieux de l’art contemporain, en orientant son objet d’étude sur les luttes qui les traversent. Par cette publication, le souhait est de mettre en pratique différentes valeurs propres à la campagne : l'existence d’une rémunération systématique et juste, un désir de transparence, le partage des connaissances, et ainsi la visibilisation de revendications propres au domaine des arts visuels et des luttes concomitantes. Elle est le fruit de la mise en perspective d’expériences militantes, à la convergence de nos expériences individuelles et de questionnements collectifs.
En français et anglais, traductions (bientôt) disponibles sur www.wfwa.ch
Friday May 21, 2021
Article in Le Courrier (in French)
By Samuel Schellenberg
“From now on, museums like the MAMCO in Geneva will propose contracts to all the artists exhibiting their work. And this is automatic, with the choice of signing or not. ‘I underestimated the difficulty encountered by some to open the discussion on the subject of remuneration,’ admits Lionel Bovier. It is not easy for a young artist to dare to ask for payment of fees, when it is still far from being the norm. ‘We have entered an era of challenging transparency and I find it healthy that this leads us to talk about the budget of the exhibition, the conditions in which we work, what we can offer to the artists, etc.’”
If you didn't know:
“The institutional shift was inspired by the federal Bern. Because since January, the federal government's Culture Message 2021-2024 explicitly mentions the obligation to pay artists if a structure wants to obtain funding from the Federal Office of Culture or from Pro Helvetia Foundation, the two national cultural funding bodies.”
read the article HERE
Tuesday April 27, 2021, 8 pm
Centre culturel suisse twitch channel, online
Lecture by Ramaya Tegegne
“Art contexts per se (galleries, museums, performances, situations) are becoming increasingly unworkable for me; they are being overwhelmed and infiltrated by bits and pieces of other disintegrating structures: political, social, psychological, economic. They preserve the illusion of an identifiable, isolated situation, and thus a pre-standardized set of responses. They prepare the viewer to be catalyzed, thus making actual catalysis impossible.” Adrian Piper, on how she started to make work outside the “white cube”.
Indeed, how to keep evolving within cultural organizations and institutions that are ever more eager to critically address within their program issues concerning our identities, our struggles, when those same organizations and institutions put up resistance whenever we question their own behavior with regard to those very issues? Do we still want to keep confronting them to make room for ourselves in a field that has just “not been built to accommodate us,” to borrow Sara Ahmed’s words? What systems are in place to allow such dissociations?
In the context of
by the Centre culturel suisse Paris and Futuress.org
The Centre culturel suisse in Paris and the design research and publishing platform Futuress now propose a series of lectures reflecting on a more sustainable cultural sector, which will take a self-critical look at the social and political ramifications of our quest for more just futures for all. Since sustainability touches on issues of climate, space, diversity, and social justice, the program invites curators, museum directors, artists, designers, and community organizers to tackle these topics from their varied respective perspectives.
Online lecture series during the month of April, followed by publication of the texts on Futuress.org.
Saturday October 31st, 2020, 3-5 pm
Kunstverein München, Galeriestr. 4, München
Lecture by Ramaya Tegegne
In the context of
September 12 – November 22, 2020
A presentation and discussion with Ramaya Tegegne about conditions of labor, remuneration, and mechanisms of domination in the art field. It is an attempt to calibrate potential agency in the face of deeply rooted dependencies that determine confrontations with power structures within precarious labor conditions, specifically for racialized and gendered bodies. We will explore the potentials of collective strategies in order to navigate institutional habits, particularly their resistance to accountability, and institutional spaces not built to accommodate us.
Due to the current situation, please register via email@example.com
Saturday September 26, 2020, 5-9 pm
TU – Théâtre de l'Usine, Coulouvrenière 11, 1204 Genève
by Tiphanie Blanc of Wages For Wages Against
In the context of
These courses are for visual artists, performers, independent curators, critics, researchers and art workers who wish to acquire and/or improve their administrative and professional knowledge in service of their artistic practices.
5 pm Lecture
7 pm Workshop
It will be an opportunity to reflect collectively on the governance models of the institutions that employ and represent us. We will return to the concepts of diversity, inclusion and solidarity often put forward today but which are more often used as tools for promotion than for real change in our institutions. Through the collective experience of self-survey, we will try to think about the limits and weaknesses of current institutional models in order to produce new work environments, be they collective or individual.
Register here: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 6, 2020
Texte Zur Kunst
Artist and cultural organizer Ramaya Tegegne addresses the abysses and fractures of the art field which the current health crisis is bringing to light: the brutal cancellation of artistic projects, the difficulties of getting paid for them, and the contradiction between public discourse and the actual practices of art institutions. The exploitation and mistreatment of art workers, artists, employees, and subcontractors, resulting from a generalized neoliberal, racist, and heteropatriarchal regime, is, however, confronted by many initiatives of solidarity emerging over these past weeks.
Published by WAGES FOR WAGES AGAINST, 2019
On the occasion of a group exhibition at Fri Art in Fribourg. Ramaya Tegegne organized a discussion with all the invited artists the day before the opening. The participants share experiences and recommendations regarding working conditions and, in particular, the question of the valorization of artistic labor. The discussion gathered Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda, Michèle Graf & Selina Grüter, Jason Hirata, Ghislaine Leung, Jason Loebs, Cassidy Toner, Anaïs Wenger, Constantina Zavitsanos and Ramaya Tegegne. It is transcribed in this publication and produced by Ludlow 38 Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies, New York, with the support of Pro Helvetia. The title is borrowed from the American writer, civil rights activist, and self-described ‘black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,’ Audre Lorde.
Available now through Librairie La Dispersion.
Wages For Wages against is presenting
Saturday, 9. November, 4 pm
1.1, Reinacherstrasse 105 (Entrance Pragstrasse), 4053 Basel
A discussion with Ramaya Tegegne and Tiphanie Blanc
from Wages For Wages Against (WFWA)
In the context of
a project organised by theredthread (Axelle Stiefel)
Precarious labor is a model for the neo-liberal politics and the predominant working conditions in the creative industries. Often translating into unpaid work, short-term contracts or no-contract work, internships, individual competition, deprivation of rights and status, this model reinforces class, ethnicity, gender and sexuality inequalities while promoting an insecure or flexible way of life as the deceptive privilege and freedom of making your own choices.
As artists, designers, authors and other cultural workers we have to deal with many different employers. This commitment involves us in complex relationships of power which define in return our own choices. WFWA acts to deconstruct the logics that structure our professions and to understand our place and role as individuals and collectives. Through different case studies we will discuss the opportunity of an active research work, questioning the institution that embodied us, in order to invent new agency models.
Infokiosk produced for the exhibition
In the context of the WAGES FOR WAGES AGAINST campaign,
October 1, 6:30 pm
Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38
38 Ludlow Street, New York
with Coop Fund Members, Emma Hedditch & Ramaya Tegegne
Coop Fund is an experimental cooperative funding platform that accumulates financial resources through member contributions, and redistributes small funds to members using a cooperative decision-making process. Coop Fund member Emma Hedditch will give an introductory presentation on the platform, followed by an invitation to discuss and re-orient its nature and potentials collectively. www.coopfund.info
Followed by snacks and drinks
Please RSVP to email@example.com
Emma Hedditch is an artist and writer based in New York. Their work focuses on daily practice, materiality, and distribution of knowledge as political action. They often work collaboratively with other artists and groups, for example The Copenhagen Free University (2001–2008), Cinenova, a feminist film and video distributor (1999–present), and No Total (2012–present). Influenced by politicized conceptual art practices and feminist politics, their work has taken on flexible forms as performances, collectively produced films, fanzines, as well as workshops, screenings, and events.
With support from Pro Helvetia, Swiss Art Council
September 27, 2019
On 27 September 2018, the day after the round table on artists’ rights and remuneration organised by the Rosa Brux and Hélène Mariéthoz, the Wages For Wages Against collective organised the first meeting of what would become the Mobilisation des artistes and then GARAGE. The aim was to organise ourselves collectively, to engage the authorities, institutions, and cultural actors to discuss and propose solutions in Geneva for the remuneration of artists.
Here is an overview of our actions this year:
* On January 7, 2019: Launch of the Open Letter for the remuneration of artists in Geneva addressed to the Cultural Services of the City and Canton of Geneva demanding that new regulations be implemented by the authorities to engage spaces, art institutions, artistic projects and cultural workers to pay artists. To date, it has collected 638 signatures from artists, art workers, institutions, independent spaces and sympathizers from Geneva, Switzerland, Europe and elsewhere. Various media relayed our cause (see below).
* Since January 2019, informal meetings have been held monthly to exchange experiences, share information and discuss the progress of the group’s initiatives.
* The Cultural Office of the City of Geneva has modified the terms of participation in the exhibition Bourses (Grants) it organizes each year at the Centre d'art contemporain promoting the works of artists under 30 living in Geneva. Each selected artist now receives CHF 1000 for their participation in the exhibition, whereas there was no financial support before.
*After a meeting with the Canton of Geneva, the Cultural Office withdrew the mention that it did not cover artists’ fees in its Terms and Conditions for Production Funding in Contemporary Art. It is now possible to budget the artist's fees alongside other production costs.
* On May 7, 2019, as a result of the Open Letter, a first major meeting was organized by the City and Canton of Geneva on the issue of artists’ remuneration, at which all the art institutions subsidized by the City were present, as well as Sami Kanaan, City Counsellor in charge of culture, Thierry Apothéloz, State Counsellor in charge of the Department of Social Cohesion, several artists associations and GARAGE. This meeting marked the beginning of a work that will be collective and collaborative, between authorities, institutions and associations. Following this meeting, a proposal for a mandate was submitted by GARAGE, Rosa Brux, Hélène Mariéthoz and Lab-of-Arts to the City of Geneva in order to establish a contract model and a remuneration scale for artists and cultural workers.
* On September 12, 2019, GARAGE, Rosa Brux, Hélène Mariéthoz and Lab-of-arts won the Mediation Grant in Contemporary Art delivered by the City of Geneva, with the aim of achieving from January 2020 on:
– Education and information to artists, art students and cultural workers, through the organization of courses and workshops on their legal status, as well the practical and administrative aspects of professional artistic practice.
– The organization of a large public debate/roundtable/meeting by and for cultural workers on artist's rights and remuneration.
* GARAGE is currently represented by eight artists and cultural workers: Rémi Dufay, Camille Dumond, Lauren Huret, Julie Marmet, Nathalie Rebholz, Marion Tampon-Lajarriette, Ramaya Tegegne and Jonathan Vidal.
Thank you everyone for your support!
May 29, 2019
"Income and remuneration of cultural workers: In terms of income, the situation of many artists remains unsatisfactory despite the success of their work. Too few professional artists receive adequate remuneration for their work, particularly in institutional settings (exhibitions, public reading in a literary house, etc.). The reason for this is the practice related to the system of unregulated labour relations. Although there are various recommendations on fees or charges issued by communities of interest specific to a particular discipline, they are not or only partially implemented by the organisers. In the future, the market will certainly have to remain free between supply and cultural demand. WHERE IT PROVIDES FINANCIAL SUPPORT, HOWEVER, THE CONFEDERATION WILL NOW COMMIT ITSELF TO ENSURING THAT CULTURAL WORKERS ARE PROPERLY REMUNERATED. THEREFORE, FROM 2021 ONWARDS, THE FEDERAL OFFICE OF CULTURE AND PRO HELVETIA WILL ATTACH A CONDITION TO THEIR FINANCIAL SUBSIDIES, STIPULATING THAT RECIPIENTS OF FINANCIAL SUBSIDIES MUST COMPLY WITH THE GUIDELINES OF THE RESPECTIVE UMBRELLA ASSOCIATIONS ON THE REMUNERATION OF CULTURAL WORKERS. Derogations from this principle may be justified in legitimate cases (e.g. miniproductions of young artists). Where there are no recommendations from the umbrella associations (e. g. visual arts), the Federal Office of Culture and Pro Helvetia will develop a system for determining appropriate remuneration, with the involvement of the parties concerned and the cities and cantons concerned."
In French, p. 15: https://www.newsd.admin.ch/newsd/message/attachments/57190.pdf
In German p. 16: https://www.newsd.admin.ch/newsd/message/attachments/57189.pdf
Saturday May 25, 2019, 10.30 – 16:00
Symposium in German and English
What is the value of art? As a social good, as a force that creates identity and as a medium of communication across borders, art is accorded great importance. Unfortunately, this esteem is rarely reflected in the concrete working conditions of artists and the public funding instruments themselves. If we regard art as a social good that strengthens diversity and democratic capacity and that should not depend solely on the logic of the market, then we must create contemporary structures that make free and creative work possible for artists and creators of culture, make art understandable to many and prevent exploitative working conditions. – without a promise of visibility becoming an instrument of power.
14.30, PANEL III: Hamburg – the gateway to the world?
How can long-term models for the promotion of art and culture be designed? Based on international initiatives such as W.A.G.E., New York, we would like to focus on functioning funding structures in an international context and discuss national funding possibilities.
Johanna Bruckner (artist, Hamburg / Zurich)
Dr. Astrid Mania (author, Prof. for Art Criticism and Art History, HFBK, Hamburg)
Tiphanie Blanc (curator; collective Wages For Wages Against)
I, TOO is an initiative of individually networked artists and creators of culture from the Hamburg art and culture scene. The aim of the formation is to be a platform and point of contact for negotiating working conditions in the art and cultural landscape.
May 22, 2019, 6:30 pm
Espace Dickens, Lausanne
Organized by the culture & media collective of the women*'s/feminist's strike.
Discussion on the remuneration of artistic work and discriminations in the cultural sector – with the presence of cultural workers:
Ramaya Tegegne – Wages For Wages Against
Julie Marmet – Groupe d'Action pour la Rémunération des Artistes* à Genève (GARAGE)
Meloe Gennai – Queer Smth
Manon Russo – Librairie la Dispersion (Genève)
Remuneration of artists, by whom, why and for whom exactly?
What initiatives already exist?
What is happening in Geneva
Discriminations in the cultural field?
Measures against discriminations to be implemented? Which ones and how?
Questions and discussion
May 16, 2019, 7 pm
KW Berlin, Pogo Bar
A presentation and discussion with Ramaya Tegegne about conditions of labor, remuneration and structural mechanisms of exclusion in the art field. The talk raises questions about the limits and potentials of collective strategies trying to reveal processes of normalization involved in the construction of artistic work and precariousness on a social, economic and ideological level, and the pressure put on individuals in such struggles.
From: Sarah Schulman, The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination, 2012, p. 52.
April 1st, 2019
Mobilisation des artistes à Genève becomes
For the record, the day after the round table on the rights and remuneration of artists in September 2018 in Geneva, the collective Wages For Wages Against initiated this working group open to everyone. It was created to take concrete action for a better regulation of artistic work in Geneva.
Its first initiative was the launch in January 2019 of the Open letter for the remuneration of artists in Geneva. This letter calls for new measures to be introduced by the authorities in Geneva to engage art spaces, institutions, artistic projects and cultural workers to remunerate artists.
As of April 1, 2019, we have collected 635 signatures, thank you all for your support of this initiative! You can view the list of signatories here.
Following two meetings with Virginie Keller, Head of the Cultural Service of the City of Geneva, a working session on the remuneration of artists in the visual arts is organized early May with GARAGE, representatives of the City, the Canton and the institutions subsidized by the City of Geneva.
Monthly meetings are held every first Tuesday of the month to informally exchange experiences, share information, and prepare future actions. More info on the Facebook page of GARAGE.
You can subscribe to the newsletter of GARAGE by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 13 – 28, 2019
Belvedere 21, Vienna
In the context of the exhibition On the New – Young Scenes in Vienna at Belvedere 21, Kunstverein Kevin Space invites the initiative WAGES FOR WAGES AGAINST for a collaborative project addressing working conditions and economies relevant to independent art spaces in Vienna. Therefore, these spaces were invited to participate in a survey including questions around their economic situation as well as the motivations, concerns and structures lying behind their work.
A table introduces further initiatives connected to this collective undertaking: magazines, merchandise and info material of IG Bildende Kunst’s campaign pay the artist now! initiated in 2016 by this advocacy group of visual artists in Austria. Is introduced as well, the Independent Space Index, a loose association of art spaces in Vienna formed in late 2017 as a response to recent right-wing politics and public cultural funding cuts in some regions in Austria. It acts as a platform for monthly meetings, nurturing exchange, transparency and solidarity amongst the local spaces.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 5 pm
Point Culture ULB, Bruxelles
How can we organize ourselves in the field of art and culture in order to deprecarize work? Round table organized by three art schools in Brussels: l’ArBA, l’erg & La Cambre with Tiphanie Blanc of Wages For Wages Against, Claire Frédéric and Catherine Plenevaux.
FB event HERE
January 31 – February 3, 2019
Centre d'édition contemporaine, ArtGeneva 2019
"ground" is a fanzine edited and curated by Harry Burke and Marlie Mul.
Wages For Wages Against will have T-shirts for sale, come grab one!
FB event HERE
Sunday January 20, 2019
Social media video by Nouvo, RTS (in French)
"What if, to support young artists, we started by remunerating them when they exhibit at the museum?"
watch the video HERE
Wednesday January 9, 2019
Radio debate on Forum, RTS La 1ère (in French)
Debate between Julie Marmet, curator in Geneva and co-author of this letter, and Catherine Labouchère, president of the foundation supporting Platform 10.
listen to the radio show HERE
Tuesday January 8, 2019
Article in Le Courrier (in French)
By Samuel Schellenberg
read the article HERE
Tuesday January 8, 2019
Article in Tribune de Genève (in French)
By Irène Languin
"People involved in the Geneva visual arts scene are mobilizing to better regulate their work."
read article HERE
Monday January 7, 2019
*visual artists, performers, curators, critics, researchers
Following the round table on the rights and remuneration of artists on September 26, 2018, in Geneva, a new working group initiated by the collective Wages For Wages Against, la Mobilisation pour la rémunération des artistes* à Genève (now GARAGE), was set up in order to take concrete actions for the regulation of artistic work. Indeed, it is urgent, in the current context, to initiate a process of discussion and collaboration between artists*, authorities, as well as the various bodies and institutions of contemporary art in Geneva.
This open letter has been collectively written to:
– propose concrete solutions to engage art spaces, institutions and cultural workers in Geneva to remunerate artists*,
– mobilize the general public on the issue of the remuneration of artistic work,
– initiate a process of consultation to work collectively on the establishment of a viable remuneration system for artists* in Geneva, including the establishment of a scale and contracts,
– collectivize the contemporary art scene in Geneva and beyond.
Every art worker and art supporter of the visual arts scene can sign this letter, living and working in Geneva or not, since the proposals in this letter will also affect artists* who occasionally come to Geneva to do a project. The idea is also to inspire other cantons and cities in Switzerland to do the same, so everyone is invited to support this initiative. If you need help to initiate such process where you live, don't hesitate to contact us.
For your information, we have already started a discussion process with the Cultural Service and the FMAC (Contemporary Art Funds) of the City of Geneva. But we still need you, because significant popular support will allow our action to have more weight and will demonstrate that the remuneration of artists* is an urgent subject to be addressed.
Monthly meetings are organized every first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm at Ressources Urbaines (3 sentier des Saules, 1205 Genève) to informally exchange about experiences and share information. More info about these meetings can be found on the Facebook page.
SIGN THE OPEN LETTER HERE:
Friday November 23, 2018, 10:30–14:30
Ecole nationale supérieure d’art de Paris-Cergy
A public workshop led by Tiphanie Blanc, member of Wages For Wages Against, on the living conditions of art school students and their potential for achievement. The concepts of remuneration, work and precariousness will be analyzed through the reading of selected texts, as well with the use of tools provided by Precarious Workers Brigade, a UK-based group of precarious workers in culture & education calling out in solidarity with all those struggling to make a living in this climate of instability and enforced austerity.
Workshop in French organized by Olga Rozenblum.
More info: FB event
Image: Wages for Students by The Wages for Students Students
(A pamphlet in the form of a blue book, 1975) http://zerowork.org/WagesForStudents.html
Thursday October 11, 10 am – 6 pm
Gerrit Rietveld Academie (Gym), Amsterdam
A people's tribunal in four acts on precarious work and life
discussing wage, love, freedom & risk
As artists, designers, authors and other cultural workers we have to deal with a lot of flexibility in our everyday life. With professional relations often tied to an emotional context the boundaries between life and profession are blurred and working in the creative field requires to invest yourself personally - to love what you do, to seduce, to adapt, and to rely on yourself. "This Is Not A Love Song" is a People's Tribunal addressing precarious work and life conditions within the arts and beyond in light of current neoliberal tendencies that inform today's highly flexible, insecure and meritocratic employment model which often translates into unpaid work.
We will welcome guest speakers or 'expert witnesses' to take the stand: Joanna Figiel, with experience in The Precarious Workers Brigade and ArtLeaks, and Tiphanie Blanc from Wages For Wages Against, Switzerland, to share their knowledge on the issue, their experience in calling out in solidarity, in addressing institutions and peers and their tools for doing so. We will also hear from Lara Garcia Diaz, an artist, activist and PhD researcher questioning conditions of sustainable creative labour. Also joining is artist and activist John Jordan and Isabelle Frémeaux from The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination who’s work merges the imagination of art and the radical engagement of activism. We're also excited to partner up with PUB Radio & Journal, and we'll set up a temporary bookshop with San Serriffe during the event offering great material on what is work and what is love to continue this debate with after the tribunal.
This Is Not A love Song is an initiative of Elise van Mourik, Rosa te Velde and Tiphanie Blanc. Supported by Het Sandberg Instituut.
More info and full programme: notalovesong.org
Thursday September 27, 6:30 pm
at Ressources Urbaines
3 sentier des Saules, 1205 Geneva, 1st floor
0.- is the production budget and the remuneration received by the artists participating in the exhibition Bourses (Grants) 2018 of the City of Geneva at Centre d’art contemporain.
* The City of Geneva, by means of the exhibition Bourses, claims to support young artists, then why it is young artists who support the exhibition Bourses, because they don't receive any remuneration and have to pay out of their own pocket for the production of their works for this exhibition?
* Why do artists continue to work for free for art institutions in Geneva?
* How can we rethink working conditions and the status of artists for more equality and inclusivity?
For those who are asking themselves these questions, the WAGES FOR WAGES AGAINST collective is organizing a general meeting.
The WFWA collective is invited to
Wednesday September 26, 6:30 pm
Le Commun, rue des Bains 28, 1205 Geneva
This evening will provide an overview of the various Swiss initiatives and demands to bring about concrete changes in the working conditions of artists. This debate is addressed to all protagonists in the art world (artists, curators, institutional directors, lawyers, collectors, students, etc.) so that everyone can express their opinions on the situation.
In the context of the exhibition Essayer encore, rater encore, rater mieux
Lab-of-arts and Rosa Brux
Wages For Wages Against
Thierry Apothéloz, State Counsellor in charge of culture
Sami Kanaan, Administrative Counsellor in charge of culture
and Mayor of the City of Geneva
more info: FB event
September 21, 2018
Article in Tribune de Genève (in French):
by Irène Languin
“Three young curators are preparing to inaugurate Espace 3353 in Carouge (Geneva). They hope to obtain the American W.A.G.E. certification, which guarantees a fee for exhibitors.”
Friday August 17, 2018, 1–4 pm
at Kunsthalle Bern
moderated by Ramaya Tegegne
with Noémi Michel and Rohit Jain
Ramaya Tegegne (artist, Geneva) convenes a working group to review and propose amendments to the Kunsthalle Bern’s policies that affect artist fee agreements and racialized and gendered representation within the institution. Tegegne works collaboratively to reconsider the divergent and intersecting relations between labor conditions for artists and wider social struggles created by legal-economic exclusion in the Swiss art field. In the context of the campaign Wages For Wages Against (wfwa.ch) for the remuneration of artists by art institutions within Switzerland.
Rohit Jain is an social anthropologist and anti-racism activist based in Bern. He is Associate Researcher at the University of Zurich and Managing Director of the postmigrant Think & Act Thank Institute New Switzerland (INES). His current work focuses on the connections between postcolonial archives, the politics of affects, and the performative intervention in translocal publics.
Noémi Michel is Senior Lecturer in political theory at the University of Geneva. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of poststructuralist, feminist and queer theory, postcolonial and critical race theory, with a focus on issues of equality and difference, politics of (anti)racism, discursive, visual and narrative production of racialized and (post)colonial difference.
In the context of:
15–17 August, 2018
With Jaya Klara Brekke, Maria Eichhorn, Adam Linder, Cameron Rowland, Ramaya Tegegne. Organised by Eric Golo Stone and Kunsthalle Bern.
Contractual Situations We Live By is an ongoing itinerant series that considers how artists utilize legal contracts to intervene in the transactional structures, property relations, and labor conditions that artistic production operates within. Contract-specific actions that respond to the increasingly conflicted relationship between artistic works and producing a livelihood in the art field necessarily engage struggles over legal property and contract labor in the broader political economy today. By intervening in the actual legal-economic mechanisms that govern our encounter with art, artists are not solely asserting their rights as artistic interests and practical needs, but are also resisting an expansive legal order that codifies what dominant economic authority has qualified as justice. At the Kunsthalle Bern, this series emphasizes distinct long-term efforts by artists to initiate contractual situations and implement legal agreements that challenge the law as a neutral framework of conduct, redefine working conditions, and oppose predominant relations of ownership, exchange, and accumulation.
April 21 – June 3, 2018
Invitation by Rosa Brux and Archives Contestataires
The political and social changes that occurred in Switzerland from 1968 onwards are seen as essential landmarks for understanding the evolution of art as well as art’s links with counter-culture. Associating activist archives and artistic practises, the exhibition is an opportunity to examine the links between art and activism.
Wages For, Wages Against sent a survey to 16 artists that recently exhibited at the CCS with financial questions relating to their show.
April 25, 2018, 8 pm
A panel discussion (in French)
Tiphanie Blanc, Curator and member of Wages For, Wages Against (CH)
Marc Rossier, Lawyer, member of Artists Rights / Lab-of-Arts (CH)
Grégory Jérôme, member of Économie solidaire de l’art (FR)
April 12, 2018
Picking up on Andrea Fraser & Helmut Draxler's Services, which addressed questions of labor in the art field, Ramaya Tegegne invited Stephan Dillemuth, one of the participants of the working-group meetings inaugurating the 1994 project, to take part in a public discussion about current perspectives departing from this event. This conversation took place on November 10th, 2017 in the framework of the exhibition Szenen über Services und Kapitalien by the two artists at Up State in Zurich, as well as the initiative Wages for Wages Against carrying forward the debate on fees in return for artistic services within Switzerland.
March 28, 2018
Article in Le Courrier (in French):
By Samuel Schellenberg
“Parmi la grosse vingtaine de musées ou Kunsthalle que nous avons contactée, trois paient des honoraires à hauteur de 2000 francs pour une exposition personnelle: le Centre d’art contemporain de Genève et les Kunsthalle de Berne et Bâle. (...) Du côté des institutions à budget plus modeste, comme le CAN neuchâtelois ou Fri Art à Fribourg, la fourchette va de 500 à 1000 francs, avec des pics jusqu’à 3000 francs au CAN. (...) Les Kunsthaus de Zurich, Glarus et Aarau paient occasionnellement des honoraires, au même titre que le Musée d’art de Pully, le Centre Pasquart et le Photoforum, tous deux à Bienne, ainsi que le Musée cantonal des beaux-arts de Lausanne.”
March 9-10-11, 2018
Tunnel Tunnel, Lausanne
on artist’s remuneration and precarity in the art field
Friday March 9th, 7pm
Lecture by JOANNA FIGIEL
This lecture will attempt to engage with the vast array of issues faced by those trying to make a living, pursue a meaningful career or simply survive in the sphere of artistic, cultural and creative work, by looking at the general history of art workers movements, ideologies and politics, and further turn to a number of recent projects exploring and engaging with these issues.
Saturday March 10th, 11am-5pm
Workshop with JOANNA FIGIEL
We will discuss how the problems of precarious labour are manifested and contested in the context of contemporary art practice, how precarity is addressed and conceptualised by art and cultural workers, how we can manage our individual expectations and ambitions vs the reality of the art world/art economy, individuality vs collectivity, and what kind of tools art workers use when seeking to change precarious working conditions in their local contexts, which strategies are successful and where are their limits.
Joanna Figiel is a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Culture Policy Management, University of London. Her research focuses on the changing compositions of labour, precarity, and policy in the creative and cultural sectors. She has worked with groups including the Citizen’s Forum for Contemporary Art in Poland and the Precarious Workers Brigade in the UK, and collaborates with the Free/Slow University of Warsaw and the ArtLeaks collective.
Sunday March 11th, 2-5pm
Workshop with ANNE PAPILLOUD & PATRICK MANGOLD
Presentation of various administrative and legal issues related to the commitments as employee or independent. Everything you've always wanted to know about contracts, foreign-related contracts, occupational provisions, sickness or accident case, unemployment issues.
Anne Papilloud is Secretary of SSRS (Syndicat Suisse Romand du Spectacle).
Patrick Mangold is a lawyer specialist in labour law within the art fields and dancer.
With the support of Loterie Romande, Fondation de Famille Sandoz, Canton de Vaud, Ville de Lausanne, Ernst & Olga Gubler-Hablützel Stiftung, Fondation Emilie Gourd & HEAD – Genève.
November 10, 2017
Up State, Zurich
An open discussion with Stephan Dillemuth and Ramaya Tegegne on Andrea Fraser & Helmut Draxler’s project “Services: The Conditions and Relations of Project Oriented Artistic Practice“ at Kunstraum Lüneburg in 1994.
October 11, 2017
Swiss Art Awards Catalogue 2017 (in French and English):
Interview with Wages For Wages Against by Simon Würsten
Read interview HERE
September 29, 2017
7-11 pm, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Book table with Oraibi + Beckbooks, organized by Offprint
Wages For Wages Against in collaboration w/ ORAIBI + BECKBOOKS presents a selection of books related to the circulation of money in the artworld and the question of artist remuneration. Come by!
August 25, 2017
Article in Le Courrier (in French):
by Emmanuelle Fournier-Lorentz
June 2, 2017, 5 pm
at Frode Café
Forde, Coulouvrenière 11, 2nd floor, 1204 Geneva
hosted by Lauren Huret and Tiphanie Blanc
March 4, 2017, 4 pm
with Marina Vishmidt
a talk and public discussion organized by Ramaya Tegegne
Marina Vishmidt, London-based writer, editor, critic and cultural organizer occupied mainly with questions around art, labour, value and feminism. She contributes regularly to Mute, May, Afterall, e-flux, Texte Zur Kunst, Parkett and related periodicals and catalogues. She has taught at many art universities including Goldsmiths, Dutch Art Institute, Central Saint Martins and University of the Art Berlin.
March 4 - May 7, 2017
in the context of the exhibition Speak, Lokal
Launch of the campaign WAGES FOR WAGES AGAINST,
and release of the booklet with interviews on artist fees conducted by Ramaya Tegegne with Judith Welter, Balthazar Lovay, Bea Schlingelhoff, Harry Burke and Lise Soskolne.
Available now through Librairie La Dispersion
RELATED INITIATIVES WORLDWIDE
Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.), USA
Art en grève, France
Coop Fund, USA
Économie solidaire de l’art, France
La Buse, France
Kunstenaars Honorarium, The Netherlands
We are sick of it!, Germany
bbk berlin, Germany
Art Workers Italia
Paying Artists, UK
Canadian Artists Representation (CARFAC)
European Artists’ Rights
National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), Australia
“Code of Practice + Artist Fees”
IG Bildendekunst, Austria
“Pay the artists now!”