I attended the Skillshare on Freelancer Pensions and Career Longevity put on by Equity Freelance Dance Network yesterday in London. There was a begging-for-more-time conversation on confidence in negotiating and steps to support each other in that. For example, there is an audition at TATE Modern tomorrow calling for dancers that is being commissioned by Hyundai and the fee is in the range of £12-£13/hour. For trained dancers who are experts in their field this is simply not good enough. Collective bargaining wherein all accepted dancers at the audition collectively negotiate for higher pay may be one way forward.
These are reminders that our artists rights are still evolving. In 2011 I wrote an Open Letter to Artists prompting us to think as a collective and in regard for the sustainability of our field when taking or rejecting work. This was in response to my experiences auditioning for Marina Abramovic’s work at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (MoCA). A copy of the Open Letter to Artists can be found here
I do find it comforting to know that justice is being given for artists claiming back pay for royalties to their work. An article recently out in the New York Times about Ulay winning a lawsuit for works he was not credited for by the above mentioned artist. See more here
Photo of Sara Wookey performing Trio A (1966) by Yvonne Rainer at VIVA! in Montreal. Credit: Guy L’Heureux