COMMISSIONING POLICY


Last amended: July 2022

The commissioning process is central to the activities of Kunstverein Aughrim. Annual new commissions frame a longer term, supportive curatorial relationship between the producer/curator and the artists. Each such activity – whether exhibition, generative event, participatory workshop, sculptural intervention or reflective workshop – is devised to support the development of new work through facilitating the unique artistic methodologies of the artist in question, and to enable collaborative thinking, within a wider infrastructure of ongoing curatorial support and strategic planning that underpins the entire process. This approach emphasises and prioritises the relationship between artist and producer/curator, in the development and creation of new work. The goal is to ultimately benefit and elevate the trajectory of the artist by embedding curatorial support throughout all stages of the development, production and presentation process.

Kunstverein Aughrim believes that publicly funded institutions have a moral responsibility to maintain a transparent, robust and inclusive commissioning practice. As such a copy of our Commissioning Policy is available to view on our website. We fully endorse the UNESCO Cultural Governance Code, the Arts Council of Ireland’s Equality, Human Rights and Diversity Policy, the Visual Artists Ireland Payment Guidelines and the Paying the Artist Policy as developed by the Arts Council of Ireland.


KVA Stages of Commissioning

  1. Research and identify the artist
  2. Define a long term goal/vision
  3. Agree a working process
  4. Secure funding and partnerships
  5. Draw up a working contract
  6. Incorporate flexibility
  7. Support the creative process by developing facilitating methodologies and developing new collaborations
  8. Devise a contextualisation strategy
  9. Share the outcome
  10. Reflect and evaluate


Transparency

Artists are selected based on our curatorial research and working knowledge of contemporary artist’s practices. Generally speaking, Kunstverein Aughrim is interested in working with artists who utilise unusual/performative/collaborative artistic methodologies, who are operating at a very high level, whose work is original and unique, whose work would be of enormous interest to a wider audience should they be in a position to reach that audience, and whose practices could potentially benefit from intense curatorial collaboration. Occasionally collaborating artists approach us for advice/mentorship or simply conversation, more often we seek them out for studio visits, and from there working relationships emerge.


Contracts

The artist and team of Kunstverein Aughrim discuss all aspects of collaboration and production throughout each stage of the commissioning process, from initial conversations, to contact time, long-term expectations, division of labour, authorship, financial parameters, remuneration, contextualisation and mediation. We draw up tailored commissioning contracts and production agreements with all artistic collaborators. We are responsive to changes and developments, and take pride in our ability to be nimble, flexible and adaptable. Our small scale (one full-time producer/curator along with two occasional freelancers and up to four core collaborating artists) naturally ensures continuous contact and feedback, enhancing mutual respect and trust.


Copyrights & Authorship

Artists creating original artwork automatically obtain the copyright to that work and Kunstverein Aughrim always asks for permission before presenting a work in an exhibition, publication or event (with the exception of quotes), based on Article 25c of the Copyright Act (accessed via research undertaken by Kunstverein Amsterdam). However, if the artwork is produced through a custom contract with Kunstverein Aughrim, the copyright may lie with Kunstverein Aughrim and the artist/s (unless agreed otherwise beforehand).


Equality and Diversity

We acknowledge and endorse the Arts Council of Ireland’s Equality, Human Rights and Diversity Policy. We interpret the code outlined in this policy as an instrument of self-regulation that serves to ensure that the Irish cultural and creative sector represents the broad diversity of Irish society. A basic requirement is that the sector is equally accessible to everyone, including: makers, producers, workers, collaborators and audience members. In 2023 we aim to address the gendered disadvantage evident in the rising trajectory of women artists, particularly those with established careers, whose artistic practices are less celebrated or recognised than those of their male peers, despite practicing at an equally high level. Through this work we directly and indirectly address prejudices regarding gender, sexual orientation, cultural background and age.

Kunstverein Aughrim actively strives to be an inclusive place where everyone feels welcome and valued. We pay particular attention to diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity, knowledge and socio-economic dimensions, and actively seek to be an open and inclusive entity, welcoming artists, collaborators, advisors, co-producers, members and publics regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, civil or family status, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the Traveller community. We use sensitive language in both our formal and informal communications, in a deliberately accessible san serif typeface. In 2023 we plan to improve the physical accessibility to our space. In principle, every exhibition, presentation and activity must be accessible to as wide an audience as possible.


Code of Conduct and Fair Practice Code

The Code of Conduct and Fair Practice Code, as drafted and implemented by our sister organisation Kunstverein Amsterdam, is a code of conduct for doing business and working in the arts, culture and creative industries based on five core values: solidarity, diversity, trust, sustainability and transparency. The code invites critical reflection and provides a helping hand to the cultural sector in order to foster a future-proof labour market and professional practice.


Ecology

We are conscious of the fact that we live on borrowed time. Our natural environment and resources have been heavily impacted by our presence as a species on this planet. Though the natural world is not often at the center of our programming, we live by the rule of thumb that if we can’t make it any better, then the least we can do is not make it any worse.

Our environmental priorities are;

  • To continually audit our energy consumption and carbon footprint
  • To move all financial accounts to a bank with a sustainable investment portfolio
  • To only take up contracts with utility companies that can provide us with energy from renewable sources
  • To use energy-efficient transportation as much as possible
  • To host our website and email accounts on servers that run on renewable energy source
  • To avoid single-use materials and to recycle materials when possible for exhibitions and events
  • To work with environmentally friendly printers for the production of our publications and other printed matter
  • To continue to restrict the amount of publications we put out to a limited number of copies (250–500)