and the Dispersion of Contemporary Art
of the discussion: deputy minister of culture Ina Marčiulionytė,
advisor to the Government Chancellery, doctor of art research Nijolė
Tumėnienė, chairman of the Lithuanian Artists Union
Vaclovas Krutinis, director of the Contemporary Art Information Centre
Lolita Jablonskienė, doctor of social sciences Elona Lubytė.
The discussion was moderated by the program coordinator of the UNESCO
Chair of Culture Management and Culture Politics Ieva Kuizinienė.
theme of this discussion is the law regulating the dispersion of contemporary
art and the status of artists and artworks. It is obvious that the lack
of a legal basis inhibits the normal process of contemporary art. Several
reasons can be mentioned. Firstly, the smallness of the countrys
population (and the small number of tourists) hinders the formation
of the local art market. Secondly, there is a lack of free money on
the market. Thirdly, there are no philanthropic traditions in Lithuania.
Finally, there is a lack of educational informational programs encouraging
the support of contemporary culture and defining its legal and social
status and material value.
Elona Lubytė. This problem is related
with both the guidelines of the culture policy, and the status of an
artist. The fact that the state has not defined the value parameters
of an artwork influences the development of the market, which is slow
and closed. This results in a paradox contemporary artworks do
not have any value.
Vaclovas Krutinis. In my opinion, the existing
law could work more efficiently if it changed the order of payment of
taxes to the greater advantage of sponsors. The law or its amendments
should state that both a real or juridical person has a right to assign
a certain amount of money for sponsorship, and this amount should not
be subject to any taxes. In this way the sponsor could feel material
Elona Lubytė. A closer link between
the giver and the receiver of support should be established. A possible
form of communication could be a council of sponsors popular in the
liberal Western environment, which offers businessmen an opportunity
not only to give support, but also to participate in the activity and
administration of culture institutions, i.e. to share their experience
and connections, which is often more effective than a one-time financial
Ieva Kuizinienė. It is obvious that
many companies associate sponsorship with the formation of their positive
image. Therefore they find it very important to support only those fields
of activity that are on the top list of priorities and help them form
this image. On the other hand, institutions looking for support are
often not prepared to raise funds professionally.
Nijolė Tumėnienė. Culture
is not a strategic priority of the state. However, economists and politicians
do not seem to be aware of this problem. If the Parliament adopted the
draft of guidelines for the culture policy, it would help us establish
priorities at least inside the field of culture.
Ina Marčiulionytė. The aim of these guidelines is to have
a generalized document of culture policy that would not contain fragmentary
references for one or two years. The general direction should be clear.
It should be followed by a concrete document, a plan of practical actions
for six years, corresponding to the planing cycles of the government.
Ieva Kuizinienė. So that culture could
earn money by itself, certain commercial structures are necessary
art fairs, auctions, strong galleries etc. Until they come into existence,
culture will not earn money, and artists will never have them.
Lolita Jablonskienė. Commerce must exist on the market. State support
for commerce is detrimental. However, institutions engaged in commerce,
e.g. art galleries, also organize non-commercial events, which can be
supported by the state.
Nijolė Tumėnienė. During
the discussion of the guidelines for the Lithuanian cultural policy
in the government, several ministers spoke for the redundancy of the
status of an artist. Though the status of an art creator has already
been legitimized by the law of art creators and their organizations,
it does not provide for any privileges and state responsibilities for
artists suggested by international recommendations.
Vaclovas Krutinis. Certain results have
been achieved in developing the legal basis for the status of an artist.
It is necessary to achieve that a certain amount of taxes paid by art
creators would be assigned for their social guarantees.
Ieva Kuizinienė. Obviously, without
the initiative of artists, art scholars and related institutions the
situation is not likely to change. However, as long as culture stays
on the margins of the states interests, and legislative committees
do not have time to consult those who administer those laws, it is not
worth while expecting great changes. The most important factor that
is going to determine the fate of different fields of culture are the
guidelines for the state cultural policy, in the context of which laws
should be adopted.