(full version with Appendix attached)
On October 29, 2010 (Friday), I received a phone call, followed by an email (atached as Appendix), from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (thereafter HKADC) regarding its decision to re-invite proposals for Hong Kong’s participation in the 54th Venice Biennale. As an “original applicant”, I was encouraged to resubmit.
I am motivated to write this letter mainly for the following reasons and concerns:
- the discrepancy in terms of the type and amount of information in the email and on the HKADC website regarding “re-invitation” (http://www.hkadc.org.hk/en/content/web.do?page=EventsVB2010B);
- the artistic- and cultural-political implications of the re-invitation in terms of what projects it implicitly favors now;
- the quality (transparency, accountability, fairness) of the long-term public environment in which art operates.
In terms of the legality and legitimacy of the decision, I urge the HKADC to:
- Make public the full content of the complaint;
- Explain what laws and/ or by-laws govern and legitimize the “decision on re-invitation of proposal” and its power to “[supersede and replace] all previous versions and their corresponding Applications which are cancelled”.
In terms of the artistic and professional implications of the decision, I urge the HKADC to:
- Give a thorough evaluation and assessment of the current time-frame produced out of exigency in relation to the feasibility and artistic support it plans to extend to the winning team to actualize the chosen project;
- Give an assessment of how the unchanged maximum grant of HK$1 million could function in this current time-frame, and in light of the encouragement for original applicants to resubmit, acknowledge if it is a de facto call for all projects to scale down;
- Explain the reasons for requiring that new proposal submitted must be “in alignment with” the theme ILLUMInations as conceived by the 54th Venice Biennale organizer and how they relate to the objectives of Hong Kong’s participation in the Biennale (see 54th VB Application Conditions, HKADC); and
- Explain why the organizer’s theme becomes binding while allowed not to play any role in the original invitation of proposals whose deadline was July 28, 2010.
Your support: http://www.gopetition.com/petition/40294.html
I will send this letter to the HKADC at the end of today as an individual art practitioner. If you have other questions to ask, please write your own letter and send it, too.
Please support a better public environment for the practice of art in Hong Kong.