Vida Savičiūnaitė

www.kamane.lt , 2010 03 31

In brief: Authors’ rights of artists and the remuneration for the use of one’s work in an exhibition, catalogue, periodical press: how is it implemented in Lithuania? The essence and meaning of galleries and activity of exhibition curators consists of works of particular artists rather than a scenario of an exhibition created on paper. Why artists receive no salary for it? Are artists slaves of galleries? Why is the price of artist's authorship devalued?

A conversation about it is presented with the chairman of the Artists’ Union, Kaunas branch, artist Gintautas Vaičys, director of the gallery Meno Parkas, artist Alvydas Žalpys and artist Elena Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė.


G.Vaičys. Photo from kaunodiena.lt

G.Vaičys. The situation is really complicated. We discuss it in gatherings of artists frequently. Theoretically, the author's rights of artists are also protected by LATGA (The Lithuanian Agency of Authors’ Rights Protection Association). I know that some artists have registered there. I have not heard that artists would be paid for participation in group exhibitions in our country. A different case is the publishing centre of the Lithuanian Artists' Union, where publishing is supervised by Danutė Zovienė. The centre pays to all authors whose works are published.

At least three choices should be present for artists: 1. One pays for everything himself/herself and nobody should benefit from using one’s works; 2. Somebody pays everything for you and thus you have no claims to the royalty; 3. Money allocated for the exhibition is divided for the organisers and authors.

This system does not function in Lithuania, but for a few exceptions. Artists are in the last place and have no rights.

E.Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė. Photo from the archive of kamane.lt

E.Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė. I have never received a royalty for participation in an exhibition in Lithuania, only in Denmark. We are always explained that there is no money for artists. Artists give their works for galleries for free. An argument is that works are published and the artist should be satisfied with this. The same is with exhibitions. On another hand, we are guilty ourselves. We should unite and change the situation. We should register in the author’s rights agency, which would protect our rights. Still, will all artists want this?

A.Žalpys. Photo from kaunodiena.lt

A.Žalpys. When we show an author’s work in an exhibition, we take it and show it. The author is glad that we showcase their works. Usually there is no remuneration for it. The situation is similar abroad too. True, authors are paid more frequently there.

Speaking about Meno Parkas gallery, there have been cases when we paid some royalties for authors, which were not big. We always pay royalties to exhibition curators first of all as they perform a huge work. True, they would have nothing to do without artists’ works, but the situation is such.

We try to help artists, with whom we collaborate, to create an artwork – by materials or advertisement. Their works appear in various publications, which is the most important for an artist. Their future depends on this. It is the global practice.

P.S. The short version of this text was published in the daily Kauno Diena, 2010 03 31

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