July 13, 2009 - Stockholms Stadsteater, Lilla scenen - Mountains of Butter, Lakes of Wine
July 13, 2009

Mountains of Butter, Lakes of Wine

Mountains of Butter, Lakes of Wine
The effects of changing funding
conditions for contemporary art

A symposium at Stockholms Stadsteater,
Lilla scenen, Stockholm, 7-8 November 2009


Conditions for funding of contemporary art have changed rapidly, but we are rarely aware of exactly how. Lack of knowledge and misconceptions about these issues abound, making constructive discussions difficult. The purpose of this symposium is to find out where the land lies in terms of public and private funding for contemporary art, mainly within a European context, and what repercussions this has on art production itself.


JAN DEBBAUT (London/Groningen) has been Director of exhibitions at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Director of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and of the Tate Collections in London. Currently an independent curator based in London and Professor in Curatorial Studies at the Rijksuniversiteit in Groningen.

TIRDAD ZOLGHADR (Berlin) Writer/curator. He writes for Frieze and other publications, and is editor-at-large for Cabinet magazine.

TONEHANSEN (Oslo) Artist, curator and researcher who has studied the new organisation of cultural life in Oslo.

DIETER BOGNER (Vienna) Museum planner who has worked on the master plans of Vienna’s ‘museums quarter’, as well as the Documentahalle and the Wilhelmshöhe castle in Kassel.

GOLDIN+SENNEBY (Stockholm) Artists collaboration presently pursuing an allegorical study of agricultural funding policies.

STEALTH (Rotterdam/Belgrade) Architects/cultural practitioners, currently engaged with the provisional future(s) of urban culture in the Western Balkans.

CHRISTINE THOME (Beirut) Cultural organiser and founder of the non-profit organisation Ashkal Alwan, the Lebanese Assciation for the Plastic Arts.


What is the proportion of public and private funding in different parts of Europe?

Is public funding disappearing? If so, what can we do beyond lamenting the situation? If not, what is happening to public funding against the backdrop of major change?

What does contemporary private art funding actually look like?

Is art affected by different forms of funding? If so, how?

Is there a correlation between funding and the way in which art is produced and presented?

Is the situation stable? If not, how is it developing? What are the arguments behind these developments?

What visions and fears are there for the future?

What kind of policy supports the existing structures?

What do funders want to promote today? What do they want to prevent?

And not least, what do artists think about this?

What are the most effective funding strategies for supporting contemporary art?

Can art ever be free? / If so, at whose expense would it be?

This symposium is the fifth and final stage of the project Almostreal, initiated by Igor Dobricic at the European Cultural Foundation. In Almostreal the relation between funder and funded has been a curious and driving mode. It provides an interesting case through which one can research a specific ‘economy of power’. This final stage is a project in and of itself at the same time as it reflects on the four previous stages. The fifth stage is initiated by STEALTH (Ana Dzokic and Marc Neelen) and curated by Maria Lind, who in turn has invited the artist collaboration Goldin+Senneby (Simon Goldin and Jakob Senneby, both based in Stockholm) to make an art project and the curator Anna Livion, Konsthall C, Stockholm) to co-curate the public event.

To reserve your place, go to
www.konsthallc.se or www.almostreal.org

Konsthall C

Stockholms Stadsteater, Lilla scenen
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