Pay to view
The pressure is on to reinstate mandatory artists' fees for exhibitions held in public galleries and art spaces. The Australia Council had a long-running policy in the 1980s-90s that exhibiting spaces, whether major art museums or contemporary art spaces, were obliged to pay fees to exhibiting artists as a condition of receiving funding from state or federal agencies. The erosion of this obligation and the eventual removal of the proviso from the funding agreements occurred prior to the 2002 Myer Report which won substantial increases in funding across the board. But as museums and contemporary art spaces recovered their momentum to the point now where there are budgets for marketing, publishing, and a plethora of special projects, a great silence descended over the fact that the very labour that sustained all the exhibitions, that of the artists, remained without a budget line.

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