International exchange of contacts and ideas
Art can flourish under favourable social conditions
When we look at art as the expression, as the ‘face’ of a society, its importance extends beyond that of an artist who provides services to a paying audience. It is the suggestive form in which a society manifests itself and presents itself to other societies.
Countries such as Italy or the Netherlands, for example, continue to enjoy international respect on the basis of artistic achievements in the past.
This implies that artistic events extend beyond the encounters between works of art and their audience, and offer points of departure for the exchange of contacts and ideas between parties involved in art and culture, such as governments, semi-governmental or non-governmental institutions and culturally committed companies.
If we look at art in terms of its intrinsic (i.e. non-ideological) values, it also offers a politically neutral terrain, similar to that of sport, in which parties of totally different orientations can share an interest. More generally, the shared interest is also a good reason to share even more, to enter into meetings, to make contacts, to exchange ideas and to make agreements.
A type of event suitable for encounters takes place, particularly in the field of visual arts: vernissages (at the opening) or finissages (at the end of an exhibition) consist of a relatively short formal and a relatively long informal programme.
In addition, it is of course possible to link exhibitions to more extensive events from a meet & greet to a conference.
The aim is to meet/get to know each other/network.
Conferences on art
A leading conference is ‘The Representational Art Conference’. This conference has been held since 2012 in Ventura, California as an initiative of art teachers from California Lutheran University.
In a short period of time she was able to bundle the movement to revival of skill-based art, which is going on worldwide, and to provide it with theoretical frameworks.
In 2018 she was first held in Europe, in Leeuwarden, then Cultural Capital of Europe. There TRAC2018 was organized by the Dutch foundation “De Klassieke Salon”.
Conferences on art policy
Another perspective is that of the policy makers. For them it is unnecessary to invent wheels that are already running elsewhere, it is useful to exchange findings and experiences, it makes sense to take note of ideas and solutions.
Sometimes policy notes or sketches of ideas give rise to targeted meetings, and sometimes demonstrations such as exhibitions.
In conjunction with international exhibitions, international encounters are an obstacle. This could include staff from embassies or delegations from the countries where the exhibiting artists come from. A programme for an international conference can promote relations, clarify issues and create new contacts.
Certainly where the art event itself provides for a high status and demands respect, such a programme can considerably facilitate consultation.
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