Trieste Contemporanea november 2001 n.8

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1. Which is the role of state, private and public institutions in the funding of contemporary art in your country?

2. Is the preservation of cultural identity in the age of globalisation and of uniformation of standards felt as a matter of concern by artists and curators working in contemporary art in your country ?

3. Do you feel the EU projects of co-operation for culture can play a role in the promotion of artists from eastern countries on the international scene?
Has there been any successful experience in this sense in your country?

ALEXANDER FEDORUK, New Creative Association Fund, Kiev, commissioner for Ukraine at the 49th Venice Biennale of 2001

1. The state plays a leading role in the funding of contemporary art in Ukraine. It’s institutions allow to develop in different directions, but private and public financing, as a rule, have a casual and subjetive character because of the lack of competent professional managers in these organisations. At the same time private funding leads to a “feudal” attitude towards revealing opportunities of the different artists and directions.

2. Cultural identity depends not on the artists and curators but on the funding institutions that often impose their beliefs and tastes.

3. In the 20th century Ukrainian artists are longing for consolidation with European art. The iron curtain of social realism was killing the freedom of creativity. The cultural inter-relations between Ukrainian and European art are important and necessary. The underground art in Ukraine paved the way to the unification with Europe. The way of collaboration between European Funds and Ukrainian Funds have not been worked out yet as Ukraine is not a EU member. We have had only one positive experience of this kind of collaboration between the New Creative Association (Fund) and “Kaleidoscope” with the mediation of the Danish Fund.

AURORA FONDA , Independent curator. Commissioner for Slovenia at the 49th Venice Biennale of 2001.

1. Despite being a small country, Slovenia tends to invest, both through the state and through private institutions, a remarkable part of its budget in the promotion of culture. It must be said that as these investments have not, as yet, reached a European standard, they are insufficient to finance larger and more ambitious projects and initiatives which require very substantial funding. This not withstanding, our country is very active in this field with a remarkable production, often of very good quality.

2. Globalisation is an ambiguous word, I think it is important not to demonise it. For what concerns the Slovenian cultural environment, I feel that most artists and curators are able to deal with this matter in a constructive way, taking advantage of the wide possibilities it can offer but, at the same time, gaining new relevance to some of the elements that make up the Slovenian cultural identity.

3. I believe EU projects are an important instrument of cultural promotion through which I personally have already had an opportunity to operate.

KATARINA RUSNAKOVA , freelance curator and art ciritic; curator of the first common project of the Slovak and Czech Republics at the 49th Biennale in Venice in 2001.

1. I miss competent approaches to the support and funding of contemporary art in the Slovak Rebublic. Unfortunately most of the state galleries were paralyzed by an absurd reorganization during the former Meciar government, in fact there is neither a museum of contemporary art nor a Kunsthalle in Slovakia. Meaningful support for contemporary art is afforded by international foundations such as the Soros Center for Contemporary Art, and Pro Helvetia.

2. I think that this issue is purposely manipulated according to the particular political intentions. The wole sociocultural sphere is still very much influenced by politics. In general conservative opinions and approaches prevail.

3. I consider the participation of the artists from the countries of transition in the international scene very important. Mutual communication which supports new ways of cooperation is useful in the process of understanding each other: it generates new ideas and art practices. In relation to this, I can mention a number of relevant exhibitions such as: “After the Wall”, “Aspects/Positions-50 Years of Art in Central Europe 1949-1999” and “Manifesta”, in which Slovak artists were involved.



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