WAGES FOR WAGES AGAINST
is a campaign for the remuneration of artists by non-profit art institutions within Switzerland.
At the moment, most art institutions in Switzerland don’t systematically pay fees to artists who take part in their programs.
We, artists, want to be compensated financially for the services we provide to the institutions.
We do not think exposure is enough as payment.
We do not want to speculate on our own commercial success, therefore waiting on the art market to decide whether our work deserves remuneration.
We want to minimize financial inequalities within the Swiss art community.
We want to open the art field to individuals who cannot afford to work for free.
Whenever possible, we ask our fellow artists to demand a fee when they enter in relation to an art organization, or make a funding application.
We require non-profit art institutions to pay all artists they work with, and put a distinctive line on their operating budget for artist fees.
We demand public authorities, private and public foundations in Switzerland to establish new directives advocating the payment of artist fees by cultural organizations they financially support.
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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
Opening Friday April 20, 6 pm
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
WORKSHOPS, LECTURE & DISCUSSIONS
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
7 pm, Up State, Zurich
SZENEN ÜBER SERVICES UND KAPITALIEN
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.
And new T-shirts for the campaign!:
October 11, 2017
Swiss Art Awards Catalogue 2017 (in French and English):
Interview with Wages For Wages Against by Simon Würsten
September 29, 2017
7-11 pm, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
STEDELIJK BOOK CLUB – PRINT! PRESS! PUBLISH!
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
OPEN DISCUSSION ON ARTISTS FEES
hosted by Lauren Huret and Tiphanie Blanc
March 4, 2017, 4 pm
ARTISTS, DO YOU WANT TO BE PAID?
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 Oraibi + Beckbooks
RELATED ACTIONS WORLDWIDE
Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.), USA
Paying Artists, UK
bbk berlin, Germany
Économie solidaire de l’art, France
Canadian Artists Representation (CARFAC)
European Artists’ Rights