ARTISTS’ FILM ITALIA RECOVERY FUND
Fundraising campaign until June 15, 2020
ITALIAN ARTISTS NEED OUR HELP
Italy is one of the countries worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and its cultural sector is in a state of emergency. No public program of support for artists or special funding for contemporary art institutions has been created to date. And while many public and private initiatives have been springing up in other European countries to offer financial assistance to artists, Italy has yet to take action.
Lo schermo dell’arte, a non-profit cultural association that explores the relations between film and contemporary art, is organizing a network of individuals and institutions to provide support through a fundraising campaign that will help finance the production of original video works by young Italian artists.
One hundred percent of the funds that are raised will be allocated, through a public call, to young Italian artists whose projects have been put on hold by the emergency. One limited-edition of each of the video works produced through this campaign will be donated to the permanent collection of GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo. This decision will not only add to Italy’s public cultural heritage, but will support a local institution in the part of the country that has been worst hit by the virus.
With their special way of looking at the world, artists have always helped us document and grasp the most complex moments in human experience. Over the last few weeks, they have been streaming their works for free, donating them to fundraisers, and contributing to the digital programming of art institutions. We can’t just keep asking, it’s time to give back!
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SUPPORT ARTISTS?
Art is a cornerstone of our identity, an essential record of the present, and a vital part of our economy. In Italy, cultural and creative enterprises account for 10.1% of the GDP and employ 10.3% of the population. If it weren’t for artists, museums, festivals and cinemas would have nothing to show. In these months of isolation, their work has consoled and sustained us. It has become very clear that we may be able to survive without art, but we can’t really live. Because art nourishes the soul.
Artists have yet to be recognized as a professional category in Italy, so they cannot count on any form of assistance or social safety net. At the moment, their sources of revenue—exhibitions, calls, residencies, sales—are almost entirely frozen, and social distancing measures make it very difficult to seek out new opportunities.
More than any other artistic medium, the moving image has proved capable of travelling beyond the exhibition space, taking full advantage of the digital technology available to us today. But artists who work in the language of video are the ones who depend the most on public support, institutional commissions, and private patronage, since there is usually a very limited market for their works.
Making an artist’s film or video is a collective process that involves other professional figures in addition to the artist: studio assistants, curators, producers, audio and video technicians, camera operators, set designers, etc. Providing aid to artists today will also preserve the entire production chain that revolves around their vision and offer new content to museums and non-profits, by supporting projects that have been put on hold by the crisis.
Up until now, top priority has been given to the health emergency when it comes to funding allocation, and rightly so. But now, unless it receives concrete support, there is a real danger that the entire art system will collapse. At this key juncture, nobody can make it all alone; artists have the capacity to describe our present and imagine our future, and that’s something we can’t risk losing.
Please share this campaign with your friends and on your social networks. This is a time when every donation counts.
HOW WILL THE FUNDS BE USED?
The fundraising campaign will close on 15 June 2020. At the end of the campaign, there will be a public call open to all artists under 35 who are citizens or residents of Italy and whose artistic practice is focused on the medium of video.
The artists will be asked to submit a project proposal for an original video. The entire sum raised by the campaign will be allocated to one or more of these artists, selected by a jury made up of:
Leonardo Bigazzi, curator, Lo schermo dell’arte and Artists’ Film Italia Recovery Fund
Lucrezia Calabrò Visconti, independent curator
Sarah Cosulich, artistic director, La Quadriennale di Roma
Lorenzo Giusti, director, GAMeC, Bergamo
Andrea Lissoni, artistic director, Haus Der Kunst, Munich
Precedence will be given to projects that have been put on hold because of the crisis, whether for financial or logistical reasons, or ideas that have taken shape in these critical months and which explore the most pressing issues of our time.
The minimum budget for each production will be €5,000, up to a maximum of €10,000, including the artist’s fee. The jury will decide how much to allocate based on the available funds and the financial needs of each proposal.
Leonardo Bigazzi and the team from Lo schermo dell’arte will work in close contact with the winning artists, offering all necessary production support in the creation of the work.
The winning works will be presented at the Schermo dell’arte Film Festival in 2021 and at Italian and international art institutions and festivals. One limited-edition copy of each of the video works produced through this campaign will be donated to the permanent collection of GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo.