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Via the Irish Times, September 23rd 2009:

The arts cement our reputation abroad, are crucial to our smart economy, provide employment at home, fuel cultural tourism, and help form the nation’s psyche – they are vital to our national recovery, writes GERRY GODLEY.
IRISH ARTISTS, your country needs you. If there was a consensus among the high achievers of the Irish diaspora gathered in Farmleigh last weekend, surely this was it. A roll call of totemic figures, including financier Dermot Desmond, philanthropist Loretta Brennan Glucksman, film-maker Neil Jordan and a forthright Minister for Arts, Martin Cullen, all avowed the importance of culture in the economic heavy lifting to come. Earlier this year, its potency in international affairs was underscored by Brian Cowen in New York, when he spoke of how “most Americans encounter Ireland today through culture: whether that is Irish dance and music, Irish film, Irish writing or an Irish play on Broadway”. Mary Robinson asserted its importance in a social fabric context speaking in August at the annual Béal na mBláth commemoration, when she said: “We should listen to our creative artists.”
Like the rest of us, they are each in their own way drawing from the well of our remarkable achievements. Each successive nominee or winner of an Oscar, Tony, Grammy, Golden Globe, Mercury and Man Booker, not to mention this week’s Emmy success, our Nobel Laureate and the world’s most successful rock band, is a jewel hewn from the rich seams of artistic expression that permeate every stratum of Irish life, representing levels of participation surpassed only by our great sporting traditions.
The arts have a vital role to play in our national recovery in five distinct areas.

According to the article, these are the arts and our reputational capital; the arts and the smart economy; the arts and cultural tourism; the arts and employment; the arts and the national psyche. The full text of Godfrey’s excellent article is held here.

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via Visual Artists Ireland:

In a statement issued on Monday 7 September 2009, the Arts Council has said that it is to argue for the continuation of the Artists’ Tax Exemption Scheme. The Arts Council has reported that it will make a strong case to Government for the retention of the tax exemption scheme, the discontinuation of which was recommended by the Taxation Commission’s report, also published on Monday.

Ms Pat Moylan, Chairman of the Arts Council, was quoted as saying that the Arts Councilís unequivocal advice to the Minister for Finance and the Government will be that the tax exemption scheme should be retained in its entirety. Outlining the issues that the Arts Council has with the Commission’s recommendation 8.98, Ms Moylan emphasised the detrimental effects that the removal of the Artists’ Tax Exemption could have on artists who would be directly affected by an abolition of the scheme and on the country’s global cultural profile:

“The Arts Council disagrees with the recommendation of the Commission on Taxation.  As the Diaspora event at Farmleigh will confirm when it debates this matter in two weeks’ time, Ireland has a tremendous opportunity to promote itself in a positive way through our global cultural profile.  If the exemption was withdrawn, a situation would be created where there would be pressure on that profile,” Ms Moylan said.
“If the exemption goes, we could lose entirely, or in part, to the art world or other jurisdictions, a considerable number of artists.  This would not be for the public good.”
She warned that if the exemption were scrapped, it would discourage artists who might think, at the early stages of their careers, that they have the potential for very significant commercial success from staying in Ireland.  It could also discourage people from continuing with a career in the arts.
“The artists’ exemption scheme is not a ‘rich man’s’ relief as has been portrayed in some quarters.  The greatest number of its beneficiaries struggle for financial viability on a year-on-year basis.  This is true of relatively unknown beneficiaries, as well as certain of Ireland’s most internationally renowned and critically acclaimed artists.
“Arts Council research has shown that over half the beneficiaries of the Scheme have average earnings of less than half the minimum wage.  Of the two per cent who are considered high earners, most of whom are in popular music and writing, only one-third of their income qualifies for the relief.
“It is important for Ireland to have artists of world renown resident in Ireland, just for example Seamus Heaney, Roddy Doyle, John Banville, Patricia Scanlan, the Corrs, U2, Enya, Westlife, Boyzone, the Cranberries, Paul Brady, Louis le Brocquy, Robert Ballagh, Jim Sheridan, Neil Jordan, Maeve Binchy, Cathy Kelly, Marion Keyes – and there are many others.
“Apart from the global perception this creates for Ireland, it has helped put in place world class local infrastructures in artistic management and technical expertise.  For up and coming artists, this is of considerable assistance.  Without the high earners, who support the infrastructure in a major way, this professional layer would be lost to Ireland.”
“The Arts Council, based on figures from a few years ago, had worked out that if the exemption were scrapped and artists leave Ireland, the Exchequer could be foregoing some €36 million in tax revenue – far more than it will bring in!”

from Arts Council News

September 7th 2009 via Visual Artists Ireland
In the Taxation Commission report published today we see another attack on the Artists Tax Exemption Scheme. In the recommendation 8.98 the Commission has called for a complete abolition of the tax exemption. The fact that individual artists are one of the most economically deprived groups that punch above their own weight in their contribution to Irish society has been ignored.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Local currencies produced to ‘support local economies’ in the Sates: via USA Today & Huffington Post.

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David Ross has done a series of video interviews asking artists to talk about the new economy. It can be found in the cover story of the still in beta online magazine FLYP

via Newsgrist

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Liberty Hall, Dublin, Friday February 20th. Photo by Sarah Browne.

Jaysus, it was a good thing I got that big project done last year. There’ll be no more money like that around for a while.

I still have a bit of Arts Council money left. Gonna have to be really clever with it. There’ll be no bursaries to be had next year y’know.

Recession Survival Tips for Artists from a-n magazine here.

It has been a rather sudden change here. Unfinished houses and 
housing estates in the landscape are now casually described as 
abandoned rather than in progress.

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check it out over here

Noma’s words after the jump

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Key to Artwork Diagram: 

  1. Concept (raw commercial intervention)
  2. Initial Transaction (unanticipated relations)
  3. Economic Filter (seven models of transaction)
  4. First Advancement of Transaction (Cork alternative auction)
  5. Bipolar Field of Constraint (Liberal Capitalist – Socialist)
  6. Second Advancement of Transaction (Belfast alternative auction)
  7. Transformation of Capital (exchanges of goods – further relations)
  8. Investment of Transformed Capital (constrained models of social transformation)
  9. Analysis / Assessment 

The National Sculpture Factory commissioned Art / not art to create a project in tandem with the NSF seminar Do You Speak Art? (or where are you coming from?) exploring the relationship between art and globalisation. In response, Art / not art purchased and auctioned (three times) an exceptional sculpture by Thai artist Pornpraeseart Yamakazi, entitled ‘Want to Be Rich?’ (see below). As part of the seminar on 3 Nov, Art / not art presented the sculpture for auction.  A bid of €500 was accepted for consideration in the ongoing art-transaction. 

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Now Art / not art have purchased ANOTHER exceptional piece of contemporary art, a painting by Thai artist Mit Ja-In. You are invited to join in deciding its fate.

Using contemporary means of communication, cosmopolitan connections, transnational standards of artistic accreditation, modern money transfer systems and freight networks we have purchased and imported from the other side of the world a sculpture by an artist previously unknown to us, all in a matter of weeks.

The nature of this intervention, however, has yet to be decided. It all depends on what Art/ not art do next.

See www.nationalsculpturefactory.com

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