Artistic rights and precariousness

Apparently for Pole employment, being an artist is not being "creator" of activity. Yet many artists contribute to the activity of our Co-op, they are even essential, like the joint editions that have published the nine stories of hospitality of the North Hotel that we continue to share, to market and to use for the Creation of new activities such as heritage walks. Pole job claims 10,000 euros to Martine Derain, creator of the joint editions, for the allowances she received over the last three years when unemployed, she developed new activities. A creator or business owner can opt for the maintenance of his return to employment assistance (AER) allowances until the end of his rights. No artist. If the state speaks well of "activity creation", the accompanying measures concern the creation of "enterprise", terminology which is not the subject of a real legal definition and which, in fine, for Pole employment, is confined to "lucrative enterprises". Employment Pole therefore considers an artist as "volunteer" when he creates his activity and other creators of activities, non-artistic, as "entrepreneur", then granting them the maintenance of their allowances. Like many artists, for lack of a recognized status as Christine Breton described in the following text, Martine has been alternating for 30 years, copyrights, vacations in schools of art or architecture, formerly and sometimes jobs aided on trades where She needed to be trained, finally salaried from the general CDD regime on missions of artistic direction within artists ' associations – and unemployment when these management missions were completed. Between these salaried periods, that is, when she is unemployed, she conceives and proposes projects to a network of associations that employ her regularly, projects of which she is sometimes the artistic manager of the tutors. She also accepted a Treasurer's mandate after a big project for Marseille-Provence 2013 In one of these associations to pass on to the youngest his administrative skills. Employment Division refers to this investment as a "volunteer" and not to "creation of activity" and then based on a recent decision (May 2017) of the Court of Cassation concerning article L5425 of the Labour Code, which states that if any applicant for employment can exercise Volunteer activity, this activity cannot be done in a previous employer or substitute for salaried employment, and must remain compatible with the job search obligation. Artists are not recognized as "creators of activities" but as "volunteers", terminology as equally blurred legally as that of "entrepreneur". Christine Breton, also a member of the Northern Hotel, returns in the enclosed text on this "ill-posed case" while "the status of artists is still not clarified". Or if you consider that they do not create activity. As a cooperative, we can only testify to the contrary and worry about this situation which jeopardizes our own activity and weakens many of our members, already strongly insecure in recent years. We publish the text of Christine Breton to contribute to this debate and accompany Martine Derain in the legal battle that is ahead.  

The case of the artist-editor Martine Derain

Employment Division litigation. Testimony of Christine Breton, honorary curator of heritage. I would like to testify in the case cited in order to underline the collective stakes that it makes for artistic creation and for public cultural policy. To do so, I intend to rely on my professional experience as a public servant, which I summarize in the three grounds concerning the dispute:

  • From 1973 to 1986, curator at the Museum of Fine Arts of Grenoble and two regional funds for contemporary art (FRAC), I am responsible for the acquisitions and valorisation of French public collections, specialising in contemporary art, doctor in History
  • From 1987 to 1995, curator in charge of mission to the city of Marseille, I am responsible for cultural policy in the team of Dominique Wallon, namely creation, museum, research, art school and art market, I also teach at the university;
  • Finally, from 1995 to 2010, the date of my retirement, curator of a city-State Council of Europe Programme, I lead the first European experimental mission of Integrated heritage, in the context of the northern districts of Marseille.

1-Issues for public cultural policy. Above all, it seems to me that the case cited is ill-posed. The dispute it describes is an evolution of the public services of employment, economy and culture. Its regulation must be internal, between the administrations concerned. The artists that these services have the responsibility to accompany cannot be used as a pretext. That pole employment obliges Martine Derain to go before the court of great Instance can not be conceivable in the light of the history of public policies that I propose to re-contextuer. I met Martine Derain, a self-taught artist who arrived in Marseille in 1986, as part of the projects of the Casa Factorial Association which she had co-founded. In 1988 D. Wallon had decided to set in motion the cycle of art and I accompanied all the actors who were going to activate the famous "Movida" Marseille. Divided into 4 equal parts and dependent on each other, the movement of the art cycle has been made with few public means as its potential is rich: * A quarter of the museums fulfil the reference function. It is the body of symbols that makes us citizens of the French Republic. It is a decentralized, municipal institution created by terror and organized by Jules Ferry. * A quarter of the second public institution, municipal, art school, performs the transmission function. The artist of the past transmits his knowledge to the artist of the future. This happens in the knowledge and exemplary of the artists. * A quarter of the artists fills the production function. Self-taught or out of art school they lost their student status. No status awaits them on the other side of this passage. They do not benefit from that of intermittents of the show. They still have to monetize their diplomas in education. They can organize themselves in networks, workshops or galleries of artists with the Status of Associations Law 1901. They can declare themselves self-entrepreneurs to continue their research and artistic production. They can join the artists ' house or the AGESSA. * The last quarter is that of the art market which fulfills the function of diffusion: purchases, sales, exchanges of artistic production. It is governed by the law of the market. Contemporary art has become a refuge in the current financialisation. Setting in motion the four functions required, as a priority in Marseille, to accompany the most fragile quarter of which everything else depends: artists, producers. My mission was to be inventive and diversified: – with social services, to enable the exit of the Subproletariat and misery on a case-by-case basis; -With the services of pole employment to have their specificity recognised and to seek a statutory solution; – With Municipal services restore laws that promote public order to artists such as 1%; – With the services of the economy revive the art market through support for associative galleries, purchases at the restored communal fund and participations in international art fairs; – With the artists invent co-editions of catalogues or specialized books to make them known, co-commissions, co-installations of the work tool which is the workshop of artists; – With the cultural services supporting the network actions of artists; – with public landlords negotiate to integrate workshops-housing in their programmes, etc… I must confess a limit at the end of my mission in 1995: The status of artists was still not clarified. Weakness that would produce a perverse effect during the change of municipality. The clientelism awarded the grants instead of the theoretical and economical accompaniments. The subsidies were scarce creating even more misery and the need for artists to juggle even faster between the acquired statutes. The case of Martine Derain shows how in the legal framework the same person must pass from artist to artistic director to unemployed to associative agent to stay alive and in the movement of his own creation. The multiplication of collaborations between associations such as the multiplication of territorial scales is a sign of a profound transformation of artistic research. More holistic, it must find ways to transcend classifications and trades that have become obsolete. 2-stakes for artistic creation it will be possible to object that my testimony is not admissible because I am a judge and a part having been myself published in the publishing house animated by Martine Derain: "The Joint editions". I will actually rely on this experience at the border between my work as a researcher and that of curator to testify in his case of collective issues in artistic creation. In 2010, during my retirement, I was able to undertake the great project of "Tales of Hospitality". In nine books and three years of research, I attempted to write the history of the neighbourhoods that I shared for 15 years the heritage adventure. It was a double experimentation of the practice of integrated heritage and the writing of history in its context. So there was no question for me to choose a publishing house from my heritage environment too specialized. On the other hand I could not choose a public publishing house because too tempted by the "scoop" of the neighborhood put to the ban. I searched for a publishing house capable of formal and strategic creation. This is how I applied for the "Joint editions". A long intellectual partnership began. From 2013 the 9 books were published and sold in the specialized bookstores and in the unlikely places of the districts concerned. Some of them are already exhausted. This is what the artist-editor created, a new space for the diffusion of ideas and artistic creations. Unique Situation! I could never have found another space to restore my research. I then understood the coherence of the process of Martine Derain started with the collective wall newspaper created via the association "Casa Factorial". This is the best pragmatic school to approach the report to the public. And it is this school that job pole refutes. Yet as a public Service, we should all be proud to have participated in the development of this 30-year adventure. 30 years: The training time of a human being. 30 years of public spending such as an investment that is denied at the time of picking the fruit. As if we, the leaders of cultural policy, were mistaken in our collective diagnosis! The reversed reading of the truncated texts of the Law of 1901 and that of 1998 by pole employment empties their contents and thus the meaning. Conversely, article 103 of the Law N.O.T.Re of 2015 concerning the Cultural Rights of citizens and the law on freedom of Creation, Architecture and heritage of 7 July 2015, such as the European texts of which the Faro Convention , give reason to creative and citizen Martine Derain. In the hope that my testimony will contribute to the solution of this dispute. Christine Breton, honorary curator of heritage.

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