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Question 17: In your opinion, how could society provide better support for the dissemination and the development of visual arts?


By providing resources for distribution over a ten-year period. Talking about burning bridges, I burned bridges with many artists because my point of view was that I did not agree with the Arts Council giving money to artists. I just don’t agree because I’d rather see galleries get it. If I could be paid a great deal of money to exhibit, if projects such as the virtual museums project was to get important funding to do impressive stuff, unbelievable stuff, those funds would trickle down to the artist. Sure there would be a period of time between the end of the funding and the beginning of the distribution funding, where artists would suffer and complain. Now I find that when we give artists the means to create their art we’re not doing something intelligent with our funds. At that level, it’s not an investment; it’s simply a handout. Instead, if we were to invest in our distributing institutions, these institutions would be able to treat our artists the way our artists should be treated. That would force our artists to be professional, to believe in their ideas, not simply do stuff because there’s grants or because we can get money if our idea follows a certain approach or path. So if our society really wants to be serious about the arts, we have to fund dissemination, we have to put art where it’ll be seen. When people are able to look at it, when art is all around them, the rest will take care of itself. That’s why in Europe culture occupies such an important place. It’s because you can’t throw a stone without hitting a Da Vinci; it’s everywhere, all over the place, in every nook and cranny. That’s what we have to do here. There has to be art everywhere we look: then our artists will have the kind of life an artist should have.