Cuts Make the Country Better
In collaboration with François Lemieux
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« The money is not coming back… The art world as you’ve known it in the last fifty years was just a parenthesis. »
In 2011, a right-wing coalition government announced drastic cuts in public funding for the arts in the Netherlands. Artists and cultural workers share their views on the effects of the cutbacks as well as on the strategies, both political and artistic, that took shape thereafter.
In Winter 2015, we presented our research at articule, an artist-run center in Montreal. The exhibition evolved over time and was intended to serve as a platform where the state of the arts milieu in Canada could be discussed on the basis of what happened in the Netherlands. Screenings of documentary films, interviews and public discussions punctuated the exhibition, which closed with the launch of a publication (Le Merle) and a screening of the film that was made from our interviews.
The film has since been presented in different cities around Canada, where we wish to extend the conversation on the future of our own art communities, while creating a second film. Canada and Quebec have until now, known how to keep their substantial arts budgets intact; however, these budgets are contingent upon myriad requirements that steer art practices towards political and economic objectives. The Quebec government has already begun slashing the budget of the Conseil des arts et des lettres. Are we really shielded from the disaster that has assailed the Netherlands?
Image on the project page: Platform Beeldende Kunst