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Art Production in Restriction. Possibilities of Transformative Art Production and Coalition-Building (Trondheim, Norway)

August 28, 2015


Seminar, 4-7 September 2015
Mini Book Fair, 5-6 September 2015
Nova Kino / Nova Hotell
Cicignons plass
Trondheim, Norway

Since the neoliberal attack on public institutions of art and art education, artistic work has become an entrepreneurial activity within a restrictive framework conditioned by the expanding art market and hegemonic political agendas prescribing the usefulness of art.

The division of labor in the creative and knowledge industries has formed huge masses of artists that serve as a “reserve army” for cheap creative labor.

In recent years artists have organized themselves in new ways, developing strategies to agitate for better labor conditions and certain standards of payment for artistic work.

Major discussions dealing with the conditions of artistic production address the precarity that artistic labor has in common with other branches of “immaterial” and reproductive, or “invisible,” labor. In this context, artistic work is seen as a model for highly-exploitative working relations in late capitalism. To understand what kind of precarity is at stake one needs to take into account the whole process of production and the position of the artist within it.

Obviously, we should distinguish between the precarity of Thai berry pickers working in the forests of Finland and Norway and the position of artists that, believing in the idea of liberated work, have to labor under precarious conditions. Less obvious, but no less real, are the different levels of precarity due to the social stratification of the art world. This encompasses artists producing pieces for the art market, artists working in art management and administration, and community and non-profit-oriented art practices.

In examining these differences and contradictions, with conditions varying considerably between the peripheries and centers of capital, between the global South and North, can the general precarity of art production be seen to function as a common denominator in artists’ struggles for better working conditions? Or, do we need a different political basis for coalition-building that would be realized in a different model of production? How can this different production model support coalition-building? In such a setting, can the autonomy of artistic production become an emancipatory force, or should artists join social movements and political parties of the new left that aim for non-capitalist transformation?

This seminar brings together artists, writers, critics, and curators from Europe and the United States who are active in groups that are struggling for better working conditions in the arts and society at large. The aim of the seminar is to come up with a common method for organizing and coalition-building in the art world and beyond. Read more about the topic of the seminar and find the online compendium of the participating artists, writers, critics, and curators on the seminar webpage at:

You can register to attend the plenary sessions of the seminar on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. If you are interested, please contact before September 3rd.

A Mini Book Fair featuring publications and artists’ editions dealing with the topics of art and work will be open to the public 5&6 September 2015, 18-20h at Nova hotel. On Sunday, the 6th September seminar participants will present their publications to the audience.

Airi Triisberg (Tallinn), Corina L. Apostol (ArtLeaks, Bucharest), Danilo Prnjat (DeMaterijalizacija umetnosti, Belgrade), Gregory Sholette (New York), Ivor Stodolsky (Perpetuum Mobile, Berlin), Jean-Baptiste Naudy (Ateliers Populaires de Paris), Jelena Vesić (Belgrade), Jesper Alvær (Oslo), Jochen Becker (metroZones, Berlin), Kuba Szreder (Warsaw), Lise Skou (Aarhus), Lise Soskolne (W.A.G.E., New York), Marina Vishmidt (London), Marita Muukkonen (Perpetuum Mobile, Helsinki), Marius Lervåg Aasprong (Trondheim), Minna Henriksson (Helsinki), Mourad El Garouge (Ateliers Populaires de Paris), Noah Fischer (Occupy Museums, New York), Raluca Voinea (ArtLeaks, Bucharest), Sissel M Bergh (Trøndelag Bildende Kunstnere, Trondheim)

A REAL WORK OF ART (Oslo, Norway)

August 24, 2015


2nd – 20th September 2015

RAM GalleriKongens gate 3, 0153 Oslo, Norway

FB event

Featuring: Corina L. Apostol (ArtLeaks), Federico Geller, Fokus Grupa, Nikolay Oleynikov (Chto Delat?), Iulia Toma

Curated by: Rena Rädle & Vladan Jeremić (ArtLeaks)


Opening program, 2nd September 2015

RAM Gallery, Kongens gate 3, 0153 Oslo, Norway

18h Promotion of the ArtLeaks Gazette #3 and lecture Art Workers Between Precarity and Resistance: A Genealogy by Corina L. Apostol (ArtLeaks).

18:30h Talks by Hilde Tørdal (Norske Billedkunstnere / Norwegian Association of Visual Artists) and curators Rena Rädle & Vladan Jeremić (ArtLeaks).

19h A mise-en-scène of “Circus Melodrama” – a sketch for a theatre fable for cultural workers, with the participation of the audience

19:30h music and drinks


A Real Work of Art – art, work, and solidarity structures

Although we live in a time of creative industries, which implies the emergence of a new proletariat of cultural workers, artistic work is not yet considered ‘real’ work. Artists and art critics alike nurture the utopian idea of artistic practice as a form of liberated, non-alienating work. Nevertheless, platforms like ArtLeaks and other initiatives publish ‘Stories from the Production Line’, to quote the famous title by the dramatist Heiner Müller, highlighting working conditions in the global art system, the corporatization of art financing and the precarious livelihoods of artists, unpaid labour, problematic sponsors – all the problems that now plague the art world.

“A Real Work of Art” is less about the presentation of artworks and more about the organization of art workers. The exhibition’s ‘raw material’ consists of the experiences of artists who have tried to organize themselves into associations promoting improved working conditions for artists. Such initiatives are as old as the labour movement itself, and they can be said to form the backbone of today’s positions and initiatives. The participating artists share important ideas about art and work, organizational structures and solidarity.

The aim of the exhibition is to generate a temporary ‘hot spot’ for these issues – one that can be useful for Norwegian artists and artist organizations who are grappling with cuts in public funding and other factors affecting the conditions for artists today.

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Why I am suing La Biennale de Montréal (Montréal, Canada)

August 21, 2015
Isabelle Hayeur, "Murs Aveugles" (2014)

Isabelle Hayeur, “Murs Aveugles” (2014)

On October 22 2014, my site-specific video installation Murs aveugles (Blind Walls) was withdrawn from La Biennale de Montréal. The work had been launched two weeks earlier and was supposed to have been shown until November 23 – as per the contract I had signed with the organization. Since this projection had been designed specifically for the site where it was presented, its withdrawal meant the work has been totally lossed.

After several unsuccessful meetings in view of getting some compensation, I filed a suit at the Small Claims Division of the Civil Division of the Court of Quebec. I was supported in my actions by the Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec (RAAV), the professional association representing and collectively defending the interests of Quebec artists.

This withdrawal without notice was done the very evening of the official opening of this art event. I first heard about it during the opening, through journalists who wanted to film the work and were wondering why it wasn’t there anymore. This decision was made by the Biennale management; neither the artist, nor the curators were consulted.

This original work was a commission from La Biennale de Montréal: I designed it especially for this art event. I worked on it from the winter of 2014 and I finished it towards the end of the summer. Many tests were made in the presence of the organizers and its content was approved before the beginning of projections.

Murs aveugles was shown on the Esplanade of Saint-Laurent metro station, in partnership with the Quartier des spectacles de Montréal. This public square is a permanent projection site: videos and animations have been featured there for many years already. The work was put together on that square, like a canvas or a mural. The video was fashioned with a template to fit the wall’s shape with its particulars and textures, but also with specific, non-standard video equipment. Relocating it would have been impossible.

The unilateral, hasty decision to withdraw the work was taken following a complaint from the owner of the building on which the video was projected. The lady in question had agreed that these videos be projected onto her wall and had never demanded a right to oversee the content of projections. On the other hand, I was perfectly willing to meet her to try and find a solution.

Following the work’s withdrawal, a week went by before a meeting between the Biennale, the Quartier des spectacles and myself was set up in order to consider alternatives. In a crisis situation, this is much too long. I was being told there was nothing to do, that the projection could not be put back, that it was an unforeseen situation and that the owner refused to meet us to discuss it. I came out of this meeting somewhat perplexed.

Following this, I published a text through my personal newsletter to announce to the public the withdrawal of my work. Without this text, there would have been no official press release, nor any mentions on social networks. On two occasions, in the course of phone conversations with people at the Quartier des spectacles, I was criticized for publishing this text. As for the Biennale, it preferred to put a rather vaguely worded mention on a low-visibility page of its Internet site (to reach it, you have to click on the list of artists, and then on my name). Clearly, hushing up the whole affair was the preferred course of action.

Living outside the city, I had to get to Montréal on many occasions to try to settle the situation as well as to meet journalists. On November 27 2014, coming out of the offices of CIBL community radio station, I passed in front Mrs. Chow’s shop and I entered. I was expecting her not to want to talk with me, but it was quite the opposite. When a meeting had been suggested to her, she just was not available, but another day would have been possible for her. She also told me that a slight alteration to the work would have suited her, something I would have agreed to. To my knowledge, I am the only person to have met her.

Since that time, I have written a letter to the Biennale’s Board members, I have met some of them, the RAAV has circulated a petition to reinstate the projection and has proceeded to send this organization a letter of formal notice; a mediation session was finally set up by the Small Claims Court in July 2015. La Biennale still stubbornly refuses to acknowledge having done any wrong – without giving any reason or acceptable arguments.

Murs aveugles was my fourteenth project of its kind. I have done public works in Canada, but also in the United States and in Europe. The more significant works were commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad, Nuit Blanche Toronto 2011 and Denver International Airport (2012). I have had problems in the past in connection with the presentation of public works, but the organizations settled this type of situation correctly; they always checked beforehand and knew how to manage crisis situations. What I have gone through on account of La Biennale de Montréal is quite unusual. What is an art organization’s role and mandate? La Biennale should have honored its contract by defending the work and the artist.

It is normal for an art presenter to expect an artist to hand in projects in time, to provide images and explanatory texts, and to be available for interviews. In return, an artist can legitimately expect a presenter to give her respect and to make the arrangements needed for her work to be adequately shown.

Isabelle Hayeur, artist

The work Murs aveugles / Blind Walls may be viewed on the Internet at this address: 

La Biennale de Montréal responded to the artist’s intention to sue their institution:

La Biennale de Montréal is a non-profit organization.

In October 2014, La Biennale de Montréal signed a contract with the artist to show four of her works in total.

This exhibition lasted for 10 weeks, from October 8 to January 4, 2015.

The artist has received the amount of 2000$ for the works exhibited which exceeded the minimum fare recommended by CARFAC.

Two weeks after the beginning of the exhibition, the owner of the building on which the work “Murs aveugles” was shown asked that it be removed. This was the decision of the owner of the building, not that of La Biennale de Montréal, and it represents a case of “force majeure.” La Biennale de Montréal cannot be held responsible for it.

Moreover, the right to present a work does not imply an obligation to do so, if the circumstances warrant it. 

La Biennale de Montréal has proposed other alternatives to Isabelle Hayeur. Isabelle Hayeur has had more visibility in the media than the other artists. 

La Biennale de Montréal has paid Isabelle Hayeur and if someone has suffered damage, it was La Biennale de Montréal, not Isabelle Hayeur. Isabelle Hayeur didn’t suffer any damage to her reputation, therefore her appeal is unfounded.

Finally, this legal action against the biennale is inadmissible, because Ms. Hayeur waived her right to sue by signing the contract, as mentioned in Clause 11.

Christian Bédard, general director of the Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec (“RAAV”) gave this statement:

For its part the Biennale does not recognize its mistakes and says it was confronted with a case of “force majeure under the Civil Code”, preventing it to respect its contract. La Biennale de Montréal added that the artist was well paid and the contract signed with the artist does not require the organizers to present the work during the 10 weeks. La Biennale de Montréal blames this withdrawal to the owner of the building who “unilaterally and without notice, withdrew their consent to the work of the projection home.”

From the perspective of RAAV, which supports the artist in this case, it is a breach of contract affecting the reputation of the artist, restricting her right to freedom of expression and depriving the visibility of the work, which she was entitled to expect under the contract. This situation seems to have been rather badly managed by the Biennale. The Biennale should defend a work that it had not only controlled but also pre-approved, with the risk of suffering the wrath of the owner and the Quartier des spectacles, which would have been unlikely.

For more information please read:

Boyce, Maryse, “La projection Murs aveugles est suspendue”, BaronMag, October 28, 2014
Clément, Éric, “Biennale de Montréal: une œuvre retirée”, La Presse, October 31, 2014
Fortier, Marco, “L’art qui dérange a-t-il encore sa place?”, Le Devoir, October 31, 2014
Sutton, Benjamin, “Occupy-Themed Light Projection Removed from Montreal Biennale“, Hyperallergic, October 31, 2014
Bédard, Christian, “Cas de censure politique au Quartier des spectacles?”, RAAV, November 5, 2014
MFX, “Le Quartier des spectacles complice de la censure d’une œuvre d’art?”, 99%Media, November 6, 2014
Ledoux, Julie, “Aux frontières de l’espace privé et de la liberté d’expression”, Voir, November 6, 2014
Petrowski, Nathalie, “Le mur, le feu et Mme Chow”, La Presse, November 15, 2014
Clément, Éric, “Biennale de Montréal: bilan positif… mais peut mieux faire”, La Presse, January 7, 2015
Lelarge, Isabelle, “Art et illusions”, ETC Média, February 15 – June 15 , 2015
Delgado, Jérôme, “La Biennale de Montréal menée en cour”, Le Devoir, July 24, 2015

Vadim Sidur’s art smashed by Russian Orthodox activists at the Manege exhibition center (Moscow, Russia)

August 16, 2015
Sidur's works after the attack on the exhibition

Sidur’s works after the attack on the exhibition. Foto: Kommersant 

Russian Orthodox activists destroyed several works by Vadim Sidur, Soviet nonconformist sculptor at an exhibition in central Moscow denouncing the show as “blasphemous”. “Delusional people came to the exhibition who broke several works belonging to the Manege collection, by Vadim Sidur,” said a spokeswoman for the Manege exhibition centre next to the Kremlin walls, Yelena Karneyeva.

She stated that there were “several” attackers, and that “several sculptures are completely smashed.” The works were made of plaster and linoleum. She said that police had come and led away the activists.

Orthodox activist Dmitry Tsorionov, known by the nickname Dmitry Enteo, stated he was at the Manege exhibition centre. He said he was with police and that they were going to close down the exhibition. ”We called the police,” he claimed. “They will close the exhibition for offending believers,” he said.

According to footage from the scene the God’s Will activists, headed by Enteo, came into the exhibition and engaged in a vocal argument with the organizers. They demanded that the exhibition were closed to the public.

Enteo had earlier written a Tweet saying, “Right in the centre of Moscow there is terrible blasphemy, we are going there to liquidate it!” The message gave no more details.

Enteo is one of the most prominent conservative activists. He cites Orthodox values while picketing and heckling at arts events and protests, sometimes with a television camera crew in tow. This year he attempted to stop a gay pride rally in Moscow.

Police closed the exhibition to investigate and began questioning witnesses and activists.

The exhibition called “Sculptures that We Don’t See,” showed works by Soviet sculptors that did not see the light of day during the Soviet period because of their nonconformist nature. The exhibition, which opened to the public on Friday, August 14th, included some works with religious themes.

Sidur died in 1986. A museum in Moscow is now dedicated to his work and his art has been sold at international auction houses such as Sotheby’s. Friday’s attack on his works swiftly prompted condemnation.

“Now Orthodox warriors are smashing a sculpture exhibition in the centre of Moscow. Hail the Russian IS,” Vladimir Varfomoleyev, a journalist at popular Echo of Moscow radio station, wrote in a Tweet.

Read more on Art Daily.

Regarding Marika Schmiedt’s request for permission of showing her art installation in Kirchstetten (Austria)

August 7, 2015

Buffalo, August 6, 2015

Dear Mayor Paul Horsak,

I was just informed that you have denied artist Marika Schmiedt the permission to exhibit her temporary art installation, “Futschikato – Die verschwundenen Roma und Sinti aus Kirchstetten und der “Fall Weinheber““ in your city. It is with great dismay that I read your letter to Schmiedt, especially your reasoning:

“Erinnerung ja, aber es muss auch einmal Schluss sein mit Aufarbeitung und Auseinandersetzung.”

What do you exactly mean when you write: “remembering yes, but there has to be an end to processing and confronting the past”? What kind of memory making of the murder and deportation of Roma and Sinti do you think is adequate? And why do you presume we should put a stop to processing and confronting this history? Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, why do you feel entitled to make such a decision on behalf of your community, and in extension, on behalf of Kirchstetten’s history?

It worries me greatly that as a leader of this Kirchstetten community, you are not supporting an artist’s engagement with the history of National Socialism in the region, especially the discrimination and murder of Roma and Sinti. While it is reasonable to fear that such critical engagement is uncomfortable and conceivably difficult to face, the erasure of that past has catastrophic consequences. As is well known, Roma and Sinti are still the most persecuted and discriminated minority in Europe. Your city has the extraordinary opportunity, if not responsibility, to confront its own past, and to do so in a way that faces even the most humiliating truths, such as the Nazi past of a celebrated poet in town, Josef Weinheber.

I would also like to note that Marika Schmiedt is one of the most important artists in Europe who deals with the history of the Roma holocaust, and whose work has been exhibited widely, including being featured in the prestigious Venice Biennial in 2011. Her work was also included in “Roma Protokoll,” an exhibition in 2011 curated by Suzana Milevska, the recipient of the 2012 Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory. In response to Schmiedt’s work, distinguished literary critic and theorist Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak noted that:

“Marika [Schmiedt] has made the subaltern speak, in a certain way for sure, through representation, but much more forcefully. If the subaltern is the group that cannot achieve the state – Antonio Gramsci’s classic definition – the Roma Holocaust didn’t even make it into Hannah Arendt’s insistence that the banality of evil springs from the premises of the state. The Roma Holocaust is not allowed into this widely accepted generalization. That is subalternity, not just not achieving the state, but not even achieving the record of the banality of the evil state.”

Spivak’s words speak volumes here, but most significantly, they comment on Schmiedt’s resistance to accepting the erasure of this history of violence, which has marked many families in your own community. Trauma theorist and historian Dominick LaCapra has suggested that art is a cultural form that “may even be a means of bearing witness to, enacting, and, to some extend, working over and through trauma whether personally experienced, transmitted from inmates or sensed in a larger social and cultural setting.” Even though you speak of the young generation, which you note is not responsible for the atrocities that happened more than seven decades ago, I must disagree with the implication that these generations do not need to learn about this past in a way that is confrontational and that directly involves the urgent problems of our contemporary moment. Europe as a whole still has to confront much of its violent history, especially in regard to Roma and Sinti, and the devastating conditions under which many Roma and Sinti live today. Marika Schmiedt’s installation has the potential of bearing witness to these atrocities and bringing some form of healing to your community and beyond, even if it involves facing painful truths.

I hope that you will reconsider your decision and grant Marika Schmiedt the permission to exhibit this installation in Kirchstetten.


Dr. Jasmina Tumbas

Assistant Professor

Department of Art
University at Buffalo

PS: For more information on Spivak’s discussion of the exhibition “Roma Protokoll,” please consult

ArtLeaks Gazette No.3 : Artists Against Precarity and Violence, now online!

August 3, 2015
Cover page by the editors, Photo credit: Margaret Singer

Cover page by the editors, Photo credit: Margaret Singer

We are very happy to announce the release of our latest issue of the ArtLeaks Gazette, entitled Artists Against Precarity and Violence – Resistance Strategies, Unionizing, and Coalition Building in a Time of Global Conflict and Contradiction.  This issue unpacks some important questions for the art field today about models of organizations, unionizing, and strategies of resistance for art workers. Our aim is to illuminate new ways of production and coalition building in international and local environments that, unfortunately, are increasingly hostile.

The gazette is freely available to read here: 

As a learning tool, this gazette is meant to contribute to the critical debates around censorship, exploitation and abuse highlighted on our online archive since 2011. We hope many of you will use it in your own self-organized schools, seminars, workshops, protest meetings, and join our community to push these issues even further.

Limited printed copies will be available soon. We are calling on those of you who regularly print as a part of your work to help us get the ALG by committing to small print runs of 50-100 copies. We will make several PDF formats of the ALG to meet various digital needs, as well as an epub edition. We encourage our readers to be an active part of spreading the ALG by hosting it on their site and forwarding it on to their networks.

The gazette includes texts by: Corina L. Apostol, Ingela Johansson, Bojana Piškur, Dmitry Vilensky, Mikołaj Iwański and Joanna Figiel, Xandra Popescu with Veda Popovici, Delia Popa and Ioana Cojocaru, Alejandro Strus and Sonja Hornung, Haben und Brauchen, G.U.L.F., and Ivor Stodolsky

Visual works reproduced in the gazette are by: KURS, Anastasia Vepreva and Roman Osminkin, Tatiana Fiodorova, and Monotremu

ArtLeaks Gazette editors: Corina L. Apostol, Brett Alton Bloom and Vladan Jeremić.

Cover page by the editors, Photo credit: Margaret Singer

ArtLeaks is currently working on a new exhibition at RAM Galleri in Oslo, opening on September 2nd, and a seminar at LevArt, Levanger/Trondheim, between September 3rd and 7th. More discussions and workshops will be announced in the near future. If you would like to host one please send us an email.

ArtLeaks contact information: //

A Chronology of Being Endowed – A Reconstruction of Suzana Milevska’s Case

June 6, 2015

This is a chronological summary of the events surrounding Suzana Milevska’s case according to information received by ArtLeaks. For more background information please read here, here and here. Milevska is currently free from her contract with the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. She was not allowed to resign as she requested, nor did she receive any explanation or apology from the Academy or the Erste Foundation.


January 2013

The first open call for Endowed Professorship for Central and South Eastern European Art Histories was advertised by the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna on at the end of January 2013. The position was advertised as a partnership between the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the Erste Foundation. The text of the call emphasized the discipline of art history in the title, and interest in the region, as well as knowledge of local languages for first hand research, the period after 1960s and interest in feminist and postcolonial theories. The job was unique opportunity for professionals from the CSEE to come to Vienna, and to both design and teach this very specific course. The call was widely circulated. Suzana Milevska received it and applied, as she thought her CV was fitting to this description, and a short list and interview were mentioned. 

April-December 2013

Suzana Milevska was informed in April 2013 that she was selected without any mention of a short list or interviews, etc. The position was the first such chair its an area study within the discipline of art history and with a focus on feminist and postcolonial studies. Since she had BA (from Skopje) and MA (from Prague) in contemporary art history, and her PhD from Goldsmiths in Gender Difference in the Balkans (published) had a strong postcolonial and feminist perspective there were no any critical comments. The contract she signed with the Academy of Fine Arts was a 10 month contract and implied 45 hours of lectures and/or seminars. The course was one semester optional course to which anybody could apply. The first semester there were 44 students enrolled from different years and levels of study (BA, MA, even PhD).

January 2014

In January 2014 the contract with Suzana Milevska was prolonged (the previous contract would have ended in July 2014) until May 2015 after she was asked if she would like to continue teaching. No competition was advertised because everybody agreed that it would not be ethical to mislead the other professors prospective applicants from the region to apply when it was clear the professors would vote for Suzana Milevska.

August 2014

Suzana Milevska was disinvited from giving the keynote speech at the Ceremony of the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory established by the ERSTE Fondation. Just a couple of months before the event, Milevska was disinvited with a justification that the programme changed (although she thought it was implied that the previous winner delivers this speech in the honor of the new winner, since Piotr Piotrovski delivered such a speech in Warsaw at her award ceremony). This coincided with the big restructuring of the Erste Foundations administration and management structure – when the whole line of management-the Directors of the programs including the Culture Program were simply erased. Three people on such high positions were removed without replacement.

December 2014

On 16 December Suzana Milevska asked the Dean of the Academy whether she was eligible to reapply. She received a confident answer from the Rector via the Dean that she was eligible, as was anybody else. The new call was almost exactly the same as the first one, only the duration was changed, and it was advertised as a position for 2 years (which was never the case before). It was not specified if Suzana Milevska as the first (and the only previous professor) had the right to re-apply again, this time or ever again. Suzana Milevska confirmed for ArtLeaks that she was told not to apply with the words Dont!by the Vice Rector Andrea B. Braidt with no mention of any rule, including the 2-year change.

January-February 2015

The Dean Ruth Sonderegger encouraged her to apply, even telling her directly that the Dont!was a kind of mobbing, and so finally she decided to apply. In February Milevska already knew that she was voted unanimously from her professor colleagues. Although they were not supposed to tell her this, some of them were very happy and called her home, even the Dean to congratulate her.

March 2015

The rejection e-mail message from the recruitment agency of the Academy arrived on 17 March and came as a shock to Milevska: it just stated that it was very difficult to make the decision. Strangely the rejection came only a half a day after her enquiry about the results of the competition at the Erste Foundation, because after 3 months of applying and a month after knowing that her application was selected she hadnt received any answer. In this conversation she was invited to meet with the team to explain to her that Erste Foundation preferred a new professor. When Suzana asked who would be on the team she was told that Erste Foundation curator Christiane Erharter was a part of it (although she hadnt been before, and was not supposed to be involved in the professorship selection because of her civil partnership with Vice-Rector Andrea B. Braidt, who was responsible for the Professorship on the side of the Academy of Fine Art). Only then Milevska realized that something changed radically after the restructuring of the Erste Foundation: that the Vice-Rectors partner who was never supposed to be involved in the structure related to the professorship after the firing of the program director of the Culture Program, had suddenly became a member of the team dealing with the professorship. This was a direct conflict of interest.

Suzana Milevska then stopped communicating with the Erste Foundations coordinators and curators at that point, and she sent her letter of withdrawal to the Director of the Erste Foundation, Franz Karl Prueller. In his reply he denied any involvement from the Erste Foundation in the decision of the Academy-unfortunately for him it was too late-his employees already slipped and told Milevska bluntly that it was the Foundation that preferred the new professor. 

Immediately after the rejection on March 17th Milevska sent a letter of resignation stating Act 11 from her contract (stating that the resignation conditions apply as for Article 23), that in her view would have allowed to her to give her resignation with one month notice.  She stated that she cannot understand the rejection decision because she was confident in her application, and that she was never told about the 2-year change rule. The answer that came directly from the Rector was shocking it stated that the decision was based on the 2-year change rule and stated As you know’ –it was the very same Rector who sent the message that she was eligible just 3 months earlier!


For more information please follow the following links:

First open call to the competition January 2013

First announcements of the selection (ERSTE, Academy of Fine Arts,

Second announcement for the Extended position (artandeducation, Academy of Fine Arts) May 2014


Igor Zabel Award Announcement

Second open call December 2014

​Second announcement​ April 2015

​Apology letter to the students and the students’ petition “Free Suzana Milevska”

Freedom Milevska Facebook Group ​

​Free Suzana Facebook Event, April 22nd, Schillerpark Vienna

Apology letter Vis Veritas Obses


Vis Veritas Obses 2

Disobedient (Reasons for resignation)


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