„Dance is not close to work issues because it can function as a representation of work or an image of the working process, but because it is work in terms of its material rhythms, efforts and the ways in which it inhabits space and time.“ — Bojana Kunst, Artist at Work
As part of the ongoing, durational performance Negotiations, Kunstverein Archipelago organises a symposium that focuses on the notion of “the artist at work” and researches models to improve and make the working conditions for dancers and other freelance artists more sustainable in Vienna. An important aspect of Negotiations is to highlight and make visible the fact that dancing is also a form of highly skilled and physically demanding labour which requires daily practice. At the same time, the actual working conditions of professional dancers are becoming more precarious everywhere in Europe. In order to discuss this tension between the actual needs and the real support, we invited Pascal Gielen, director of the Culture Commons Quest Office research institute at the University of Antwerp, who studies how the situation of freelance artists can be improved and made more sustainable at city level through creating commons. Flemish sociologist Annelies van Assche has studied in depth the working conditions of projects-based dance artists in Brussels and Berlin. She will present the result of her research, which will be complemented by the Nomad Sessions, two short artistic documentaries by Montreal-based choreographer Sarah Manya that give an impression of the working conditions of freelance artists in Amsterdam and Montreal. The international guests will enter into dialogue with local representatives of the artistic community and cultural politics. Ulrike Kuner, managing director of IG Freie Theaterarbeit will present the results of the pilot study analyzing the working conditions of independent performing artists across ten European countries, commissioned by the new European Association of Independent Performing Arts.
Hosted by Guy Cools
14.00: Introduction by Guy Cools and Alexander Gottfarb
14.15: Presentation by Pascal Gielen (director of Culture Commons Quest Office, University of Antwerp) followed by Q&A, moderated by Claudia Bosse
15.00: Nomad Sessions, Amsterdam by Sarah Manya
15.15: Coffee break
15.30: Presentation by Annelies Van Assche, followed by Q&A, moderated by Alexander Gottfarb
16.15: Nomad Sessions, Montreal by Sarah Manya
16.30: Coffee break
17.00: Presentation of the pilot study by the European Association of Independent Performing Arts by Ulrike Kuner (managing director, IG Freie Theaterarbeit) followed by Q&A, moderated by Guy Cools
18.00: Reception offered by the Flemish Delegation
is an association supporting various art projects strongly anchored in contemporary dance, choreography and performance practices. The association was founded in 2008 by Alexander Gottfarb and Anna Maria Nowak and has its base in Vienna, Austria.
As a geographical feature, an archipelago is a stretch of water containing many islands. In the same manner Kunstverein Archipelago incorporates more than one line of artistic work. The artists working within the flexible structure of Kunstverein Archipelago, embrace notions of collaboration and sharing.