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On the Solitude of Laws

by Elona Lubytë

PROBLEM. While learning to live in market conditions, we try to observe the law of demand and supply, the basis of which is a balance between offer and demand, a mutually advantageous link between artists and consumers. These complex tasks should be solved by the state cultural policy covering the factors of administration, laws (creating legal norms), financing and information. The analysis of the new laws of the Republic of Lithuania influencing the efficacy of dispersion of art shows that these laws are solitary, i.e. the actual course of artistic life is not adequate to the laws regulating it.

REASONS. Lack of traditions of civic society, transformation of the legislative system and the functioning of laws should be related with the uneven development of Lithuania’s history and the Soviet legacy. The totalitarian system formed a mechanism of social privileges, and decisions taken in Moscow and adapted in the local environment used to be implemented by making various compromises.
Due to the slow formation of market relations in Lithuania, lack of art fairs and auctions, it is difficult to establish the material value of an artwork. Consumers mainly emphasize the aesthetic and representational functions of an artwork, but do not regard it as an object of long-term investment.
Another urgent problem of the art market is the commercial and cultural (elite, high or non-commercial) status of artworks and art events, which has not yet been defined by laws.

CONSEQUENCES. Newly adopted laws are usually not prepared well enough and quite often are incompatible.

PROGNOSES. Laws will continue to be solitary in Lithuania, and the artistic life will remain as it is, as long as a reciprocal link between the state and its citizens, artists and consumers, based on the solidarity principle, is not formed.

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