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Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle: Workers’ Protest Letters (Warsaw, Poland)

October 4, 2013

fo_solidarnosc_l

Warsaw, May 2012

 

Director Fabio Cavallucci

Dear Sir,

With the good of the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in mind, we would like to express our concern and disillusionment at the way in which you have carried out the mission of the CCA, and the effects of this thus far. This letter is written after a year and a half of your working in our institution. We consider this to be sufficient time to be able to formulate an assessment. Regrettably, for reasons listed in detail below, our assessment is negative. The CCA team has been and still is aware of the need for changes in our institution. We expected that you would be the person to introduce them, and for this reason we gave you our full support, both in the course of the competition for the post of director, as well as following its completion. We began working with you in the Autumn of 2010, full of enthusiasm and hope for the future. We put our trust in you. And, we regret to say, that it has been betrayed you have betrayed it.

We hereby object to the further deterioration of the standing of our institution, to your questioning of the skills and expertise of the staff, and to the squandering of public funds on events with weak concepts (e.g. Neue Wilde, CCA TV, Transistor, Laboratory of the Future Regress/Progress, Four Rooms). We understand the “right to make mistakes”, which you have so often emphasized. However, after the almost two years which have passed since the competition for director, it seems that these mistakes are not followed by any conclusions, worse still, their number has increased rather than decreased. Attached below is a list of selected examples of negligence, ill-considered actions, absurdities, director’s cynicism and excessive ambition.

We are convinced that a national institution of the rank of the CCA Ujazdowski Castle deserves a coherent, well-planned program. Developing a well thought-out, intellectually and artistically significant program requires, we believe, the possibility of an open discussion, adequate time for research, critical self-reflection within the institution, the ability for the curator to take the responsibility for the conceptual value of a project, as well as appropriately acknowledging the competence of the staff. In the course of work on the program, instead of offering us professional arguments, you have presented yourself as a “charismatic leader” who literally demands that we “believe” in him. It is our opinion that developing the program of an institution is not a matter of “belief in a leader”, but rather of professional knowledge, intellectual effort, and critical reflection. Sadly, with every difference of opinion between yourself and the team, you use exactly the same argument – “I’m the director here”. We are well aware of this fact, however, we do not find it sufficient as a genuine argument. It merely expresses the authority that you have been entrusted with, but says little of your competence. To the contrary, we believe that forcing your own opinion – in which you are often alone – by means of orders is a sign of your professional helplessness. In other words, we believe that it is impossible to develop a cultural proposal for a democratic society using authoritarian methods.

It was as a result of such practices that, as of March 2012, the CCA Ujazdowski Castle had no confirmed plans for 2013, with only vague proposals for the second half of the year. You yourself described the plans submitted to the Ministry of Culture as highly tentative. This situation has not been unusual. From the moment you took your post, the program of our institution has been developed by means of improvisation. Decisions concerning specific projects are being made at the last minute, leaving curators no time for adequate realization and for work with artists. The plans of the CCA remain unclear even with respect to the coming weeks (Neue Wilde, Cognitive Situations, Laboratory of the Future Regress/Progress…). It was during your term that the CCA became familiar with the hitherto unknown instrument of a “gap filler”, that is, haphazardly planned projects which serve to fill a gap in the program. In spite of this fact, some of the CCA’s exhibition rooms have remained empty for months (Laboratory Gallery, Entrance Gallery, certain rooms of the CCA Collection Gallery…).

We consider the program you proposed to be a simulation of coherence, achieved by means of three key programs: Postdocument, Office of Possibilities, Laboratory of the Future. This proposal was merely a compilation of distorted ideas that originally served to motivate the curators at the CCA; ideas which were used by you in a selective and superficial manner. This is evident by the fact that the curators have withdrawn from work on specific projects, the “strategic” programs were reduced to but a few events, scattered in time (e.g. the program of Office of Possibilities was cut to five lectures held over the last one and half year, while Postdocument consists of one exhibition instead of eight as initially proposed…). Bad practices at work include forcing curators to change the concept of an exhibition, appropriating the ideas of others and treating them as your own, as well as open statements that “all that matters is the strategy of the director, not the artist”.

Mistakes resulting from ill-considered and inappropriately carried out experiments are one thing, whereas shifting the responsibility for them to staff, accompanied by systematic actions aimed the disintegration of the output of the team of CCA Ujazdowski Castle are another. What we object to, apart from programming mistakes and costly initiatives that are bound to fail, are the bad practices that you have introduced to our institution. These include:

– Lack of mutual trust, evident in the fact that the Director records the meetings with programming staff.

– Screaming and venting emotions at the staff.

– Humiliating the staff by ridiculing their program proposals.

– Simulating an open discussion while at the same time taking arbitrary organizational and programming decisions.

– Blocking the development of staff and blocking cooperation with other national cultural institutions which are treated by the Director as competition rather than entities co-creating national culture.

– Repeated suggestions to retire, addressed to members of the staff who raise doubts as to the decisions of the Director (according to the rule: “If you don’t believe in me, you’re always free to go”).

– Misrepresenting conversations with the staff, even including departures from the truth.

– Introducing a ban on conversations between staff members, including the staff of one department.

– Threatening the staff with an obligation of confidence and risk of firing them (and hiring young, less-demanding staff, or even volunteers).

– Encumbering some staff members with excessive duties, including work on weekends and holidays, while keeping other staff members with no assignments for weeks and months on end.

After numerous meetings between ourselves and external consultations we have come to believe that the actions mentioned above are on the verge of mobbing. If need be, we have detailed accounts of these actions of the Director in our possession. We would also like to express our concern over the slow pace of reforms of our institution resulting from a lack of understanding of the specificity of the place, but also administrative negligence, unfamiliarity with the current regulations, the structure of the institution, and the scope of the duties of the staff. The continuing rotation of employees and disintegration of the team concerns not only the programming staff, but also administrative posts. The resignation of deputy director Wojciech Gorczyca, the resignation of the head of HR department, and the head of Laboratory, are but a few examples of resignations of employees who were aware of risks connected with negligence on the level of the basic management of our workplace.

Since our previous letter was not treated seriously by the director but, to the contrary, triggered a surge of negative phenomena, we address a copy of this letter to the attention of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, which has governance of our institution.

The change of the post of Director was to be a step forward, instead it seems we have made a few steps back. An objectively better financial situation as ensured by the governing institution does not translate into an improvement of the condition of our institution. Being aware that the CCA Ujazdowski Castle, a place with which we are professionally connected, is being marginalized, concerned with the future of our institution and hoping to protect the output of years of our work, we call on you to change your actions or step down from your position.

Programming Section of the CCA Ujazdowski Castle

at the Independent Self-governing Trade Union Solidarność

 

THE BLACK BOOK

THE COLLECTION

– Lowering of the rank of the CCA collection and general lack of concern.

– Assembling exhibitions in a hurry, literally week by week, forcing curators to assemble exhibitions which have no invitations or theoretical preparation. In addition, as the result of director’s incompetence, a Cattalan’s exhibition crops up, and “something” has to be done.

PROJECT ROOM / LABORATORIUM

– The shutting down of Laboratory Gallery which operated for 20 years and was home to groundbreaking exhibitions of Polish art, among them those of Robert Kuśmirowski, Monika Sosnowska, Joanna Rajkowska… and the creation, in spite of resistance from curators, of a “new” space, the so-called PEKAO S.A. PROJECT ROOM (the name was suggested by the director, the sponsor himself did not request that its company be mentioned), the choice of Waliszewska in spite of strong objections, the choice of the room in spite of the strong objection.

– The establishing of a committee which de facto takes no decisions, but is expected to take responsibility.

SAMSUNG ART MASTER

– Acting to the detriment of the prestigious competition and putting the collaboration at risk.

INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION

– The Adam Mickiewicz Institute/Cologne issue (publicity fiasco, faux pas).

– Recent lack of permission for AIR to participate in a project financed by the European Commission (lack of permission for a letter of partnership for an interesting project!).

– Blocking and preventing meetings with curators, guests of the CCA.

– Presidency of the EU: no one knows what proposals were submitted, the only thing known was that it made no sense and had no chance for funding (the sum was allegedly very high), as a result of which we were probably the only institution in the country that, owing to the director’s incompetence, did not take an active part in the program (the director later explained that he gave a wrong sum while submitting the application because he did not yet know the exchange rate between Euro and Polish zloty).

PUBLICATIONS

– The decline of the publishing program. The number of catalogs and other printed materials has dropped to minimum, and if they are published at all it is only owing to the persistence of the curators (Enclave, Kara Walker).

– In spite of months-long negotiations the vision for the development of Obieg magazine was rejected without any cause, which has resulted in a loss of standing and the marginalization of the title. It is unacceptable to claim that the magazine has insufficient funding and, at the same time, launch a different magazine, Tranzystor, in the same institution which, despite publishing three issues, remains a completely unknown magazine that, unfortunately, is not read.

TELEVISION

– Ever since starting the post the director has been planning the development of a television program while disregarding the experience of staff as well as ignoring the fact that the CCA has been running such a program since the 1990s (originally as part of the Video Collections, and since 2005 as OBIEG.TV). Subsequently, costly attempts made by the director have turned out to be one-off endeavors which discredited the institution and its staff, as a result of which renowned journalists (Anna Theiss, Karolina Korwin-Piotrowska), and critics (Anda Rottenberg), have ceased their collaboration with the CCA. The biggest organizational fiasco was the one-off show in honor of Maurizio Cattelan, the director’s friend, after which TVP Kultura terminated their collaboration on the television project. The director continues to pursue this costly program hiring new coordinators who step down at their own request after several months. At the same time nothing is being done to organize the documentation of the CCA and settle the fundamental issues concerning the copyrights to materials in possession of the institution.

– Transferring the head of the Wideoteka Department to the Laboratory building, sacking him, and then de facto dissolving the Department means that neither the staff nor the interested parties can access the institution’s archives. Unique analogue materials are not being cataloged, digitized, and made accessible, instead they are collected in cardboard boxes and moved from place to place. Without any professional supervision they are at risk of being dispersed or even destroyed.

FILM PRODUCTION

– Film production (or, in fact, submitting an application to the Polish Film Institute for film production) was an idea imposed from above, with no regard for the regulations and requirements of the Institute, lack of budget and genuine vision; subsequent projects were rejected for curious reasons: Norman Leto – because he would not use the CCA’s equipment; Oskar Dawicki and his nature film – “the film is impossible to produce” (despite the experience of one member of the staff in this field!); Angnieszka Polska – complete ignorance of the artist, attempts to force through an incomplete project behind the artist’s back (an extremely unpleasant situation).

– The book on mockumentaries – “money is not a problem, but the CCA has no publishing  strategy which is why we won’t publish the book” (the issue required risking 10 000 zloty which would be paid off from the sales proceeds).

INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITIONS PROGRAM

– Not hiring anyone for the vacant post and forfeiting the output/contacts of the department.

– An outrageous discharge and a costly settlement.

THREE-YEAR PROGRAMS

– Laboratory of the Future: uncoordinated, last-minute actions which transformed the institution’s flagship program into a series of random exhibitions, inaccessible to the public and critics

– A scandal with the application for the Office of Possibilities to the city – at the request of the director we prepared an application involving all departments of the CCA, this application was on the way to the city office when we learned by phone that we are eventually forbidden to submit.

– having accepted the curatorial program Postdocument, proposed in the Autumn of 2010, the director made “corrections”, rejecting all eight exhibitions that formed the project. The arguments used were that these are not artists but photographers, what is more, they are young and from Poland. The exhibitions were rejected February 2011, that is less than two months before the opening of the first of the planned shows. As a result, the exhibition of Rafal Milach could be seen in Zacheta (and will be currently shown at C/O in Berlin), while the show of Lukasz Trzcinski was on view at Contretype in Brussels (Autumn 2011), and is currently presented at Kronika in Bytom. Wojciech Wieteska will have an exhibition at Atlas Sztuki in Lódz, while Chris Niedenthal at the CCA Laznia in Gdansk. The aforementioned exhibitions were included in the program proposal of the new director sent to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

– since the exhibitions were rejected we had to withdraw from the accompanying events (meetings, film screenings), this also undermined the authority of CCA staff who established collaboration with partners in Poland (Era New Horizons) and abroad (Hatje Cantz, C/O Berlin).

– after the “corrections” to the three-year program Postdocument, it was possible to negotiate, in the Autumn of 2011, one exhibition which would inaugurate the program in February 2012. This means that the time necessary to prepare the exhibition was little more than four months (not counting holiday breaks), making it effectively impossible to prepare the catalog, arrange certain loans, and raising the cost of transport for works from abroad.

– still before the opening of the exhibition Postdocument, despite renewed attempts, it was impossible to establish the actual content of the program marketed as one of the three key programs of the CCA. Until the end of the Missing Documents show no work on any exhibition or event that would be part of this project was underway. The director came to the conclusion that he would wait and see what happens next and we will do something later. He also withdrew from his earlier decision to include an exhibition of Harun Farocki in the project, as the program of Postdocument would be “too strong”. Subsequent propositions for exhibitions were dismissed by the director as groundless (including shows of such renowned artists as Alfredo Jaar), while the planned international exhibition was thwarted at the outset with the ban on conversations and meetings placed on the curators by the director.

ACCOMPANYING EVENTS PROGRAM

– the project Eco-Summer was an idea imposed by the director and rejected by the curators. In spite of that, we were forced to hastily develop a program and application to the city which had no chances for success; in the case of cinema event the list of films was imposed and included works which approach the subject from a literal and not very innovative perspective (the list we proposed was rejected); the discussion about the project took place 8 hours before the deadline for applications; I was the one blamed the failure of the project; now a mysterious coordinator has been hired to work on the project on which we know nothing.

OTHER CHANCES THE INSTITUTION HAS WASTED

– Failing to submit an application to the National Audiovisual Institute for digitization.

Should we also include financial issues? And worse treatment than in other national institutions or even cultural centers?

_________________________________________________________________________

//EN

 

667th Company Branch of the Independent

Self-governing Trade Union Solidarnosc

at the Center for Contemporary Art

Ujazdowski Castle Jazdow 2

00-467 Warsaw

Warsaw, September 16, 2013

 

Mr. Fabio Cavallucci

Director

CCA Ujazdowski Castle

 

Dear Sir,

Due to information coming from various sources – including yourself – concerning the bad, if not outright disastrous financial situation of the CCA, we would like once again to express our concern over the way our institution is being managed and, at the same time, ask that you account for its present condition and its causes.

Owing to high subsidies from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the CCA Ujazdowski Castle had an unprecedentedly high budget at its disposal in 2012 and 2013. More experienced staff members cannot remember a time in the past when we enjoyed such substantial means. In light of this, we are all the more surprised and concerned with the fact that subsequent projects slated for this year are being cancelled for financial reasons. The exhibitions of Norman Leto and Martha Rosler have already been rescheduled for the next year. We have recently learned that the 20th anniversary edition of the Rozdroże Festival, the project Lutosfera, as well as a project by Paweł Althamer and Artur Żmijewski are also open to question: practically all the key elements of the program left for 2013. These events have been thrown into doubt even though they receive outside funding, largely based on grants from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

This is an unprecedented situation in the history of the CCA, no less unprecedented than the present high budget. We ask ourselves how is it possible that, having more money than ever at its disposal, the CCA is experiencing trouble carrying out key points of its program, such as Paweł Althamer’s project which has been planned for more than two years now.

We have been observing with growing concern the style in which the CCA Ujazdowski Castle is being managed, a style which, in our assessment, is not conducive to rational planning and the administration of project expenses.

The main points of our concern are as follows:

Lack of communication with the team. For more than a year now, all discussions concerning programming at the CCA have ceased. Programming has become a matter of your sole discretion, you alone take the decisions, which are not consulted with anyone, even the board of curators. Recently, you have even stopped informing your team about your plans; the programming staff of the CCA have no knowledge of what they will be working on in the coming months.

There was no attempt at evaluation of the project Green Jazdów, artistically and professionally dubious, which in this year’s budget amounts to c.a. 500 000 zloty. It is also worth mentioning that the project received no funding from the Municipal Office of Warsaw, while funding received from them last year had to be returned due to inappropriate spending.

We also feel we should vehemently object to certain methods of communicating with artists. The case in which an artist invited to contribute to the program was threatened with police action will certainly go down in the history of the CCA!

Inept management of the team and breaking of the labor code. Two flagrant examples are listed below:

a. A typical practice of assigning impossible (due to deadlines or insufficient funding) tasks, beyond the power and competence of the staff, such as asking a person hired for a trial period, with no professional experience and preparation, to create a budget amounting to a million zloty for the Polish-British exhibition, and tasking this person with the responsibility for it.

b. Expecting a person working under a “contract of mandate” (that is with no legally defined working hours) to work a minimum of eight hours a day (as is the case with a full contract of employment) while further stressing that this is in fact not enough anyway, and forcing individuals to work up to 10–12 hours a day or more (obviously, with no extra payment for work done); expecting people to work on weekends and to keep in phone contact with the director after working hours and on weekends.

These issues are discussed in detail in a memo from Henryk Gac, Representative for Programming (attached).

Lack of long-term planning. For an extended period now the confirmed plans of the CCA have not extended beyond a few months. The current season is no exception: the dates and lists of projects for the first half of 2014 are not confirmed, needless to say nor are those of the second half. Exhibitions are often cancelled or moved no more than two months before the official opening (e.g. Martha Rosler, Norman Leto), decisions concerning which projects are pursued are taken at the last moment (e.g. the exhibition culminating the project Laboratory of the Future). Chaos, as well as decisions about changes made on a daily basis, are neither conducive to solid programming work, nor to rational planning of expenses or securing additional funding from outside the CCA budget.

Chaotic employment policy. The CCA has seen a great deal of coming and going. Many of the new staff either step down or are fired after no more than a few months – before they can have the occasion to gain the necessary experience, become involved in their duties or find their place in the team. These resignations are related to the bad conditions of employment (precarious contracts, excessive responsibilities or, on the contrary, responsibilities which are too vaguely defined). As a result, some of the new staff are unable to figure out exactly what they are supposed to do after even several months at the CCA. Hiring a substantial number of people who work under a “contract of mandate”, ad hoc, carrying out hastily assigned and unspecified tasks has led to the fact that – again for the first time in the history of the CCA – the supplemental payroll fund was already depleted in the Summer of 2013, many months before the end of the fiscal year. This causes formal problems and an increase in operational costs.

Disorganization in the Promotion and Fundraising Departments. These two key departments, vital to effective programming, have been reorganized (or one could rather say disorganized) by the director, time and again, for almost three years now. The number of staff at the Promotion Department recently grew to almost 10, but many of its members have no specified responsibilities, which causes chaos and ineffective use of working time. It is our belief that the responsibility for this situation, harmful to the institution, rests with the unprofessional management staff of the CCA (it should be noted that the organization of the Promotion Department lies within the professional duties of deputy director Joanna Szwajcowska). We cannot understand the rationale behind the recent decision to hire an Italian expert in promotion, Mrs. Lara Facco. The team of the Promotion Department was never clearly informed of the role of Mrs. Facco and the rules of their collaboration. Along with Mrs. Facco the Promotion Department has expanded to include two other people whose duties overlap with those of staff members who already worked there. This adds to the chaos and disorientation. In light of the above we kindly request that the criteria for choosing the expert in promotion, the post currently held by Mrs. Facco, be made known to us, along with expected results of her work at the CCA, and reasons behind the costs incurred thus far (an exceptionally high salary, way above the CCA pay grade, costs related to renting an apartment for her in downtown Warsaw, costs of flight tickets Milan-Warsaw-Milan purchased “at every request”). We find such decisions utterly incomprehensible in the face of the financial crisis at the CCA, in August this year, and the steep cost cutting related to programming and the salaries of other staff members. The Fundraising Department, which should have been professionally securing funding for the CCA’s projects for a long time already, is practically not working and, to our knowledge, currently consists of a single employee. This has resulted in an almost complete lack external funding for the Polish-British project – to use only the most recent example. It is also impossible to ascertain which director coordinates the work of this Department.

Downplaying the role of education in national cultural institutions. This is manifest in the fact that funding for both of the CCA’s Education Departments ceased in September this year. We find this even more difficult to accept as the previously planned budget for education was already outrageously low. As a result of the decision to take funding away from the program of Artistic Education Laboratory and the Education Program, both have ceased to operate as of September until the end of the year. In 2013 the CCA spent on the work of these two important departments as little as 0,4 % of its total budget. This is at odds with the mission of the CCA. It would be difficult to find a similar institution anywhere in the world which only allocates c.a. 0,4 % of its programming budget to education.

The incomprehensible division of the CCA’s program. The program is apparently divided into projects that are “tolerated” by the director, and those initiated by the director himself, and which he personally oversees. The former are expected to conform to a clear-cut framework of funding, and they do so. Whereas the latter, realized at the director’s own initiative, seem to enjoy unlimited funding; their budget is not clear-cut, with actual costs often exceeding planned costs by 100% or more (the most recent example: The British British Polish Polish exhibition, originally scheduled budget: 400 000 zloty, final budget: 1 000 000 zloty).

Financial losses caused by failing to comply with project plans in the fields of programming or investment. Among the more disturbing examples is the Rozdroże Festival, which has already received substantial funding, and the project to erect a roof over the CCA’s inner yard, from which the director intends to back out. The roof project has already received 35 000 zloty, while withdrawing from the contract with companies that expected to rent the roofed yard in the second half of the year will result in an additional loss of 80 000 zloty. In general the CCA has suffered gigantic financial losses due to bad management, lack of planning (commissioning services, purchasing materials or flight tickets at the last moment at a significantly higher cost, etc.), constant decision changes resulting from “manual control” also results in a waste of funds. The list of these negative actions is very long.

Intentional marginalization of the Strefa Program for music at the CCA. This has been one of the most important sites for contemporary experimental music in Poland for several years. The Strefa Program has been showcasing national and international artists for three years with practically no financial support on the part of its hosting institution (from January to June 2013 the Strefa Program had a budget of 15 000 zloty). We are also outraged over the neglect and thwarting of the CCA’s long-standing programs, such as Rozdroże Festival and Kino Lab, many of which came to be internationally esteemed.

In the course of an open competition the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage awarded the Art & Present Time Foundation with a substantial grant amounting to 200 000 zloty to cover 49,49 % of the total organizational costs of the International Meeting of Live Arts XX ROZDROŻE 2013. Performances of artists from New York and Warsaw. The festival, which has enjoyed a high standing for years, is organized by the CCA Ujazdowski Castle which signed a collaboration agreement with the aforementioned Foundation in July this year. Under this agreement the CCA is bound to transfer 100 000 zloty into the account of the Foundation (that is 1/4 of the total cost of the event). On September 11 you, the director, informed curator Janusz Marek that the CCA is unable to comply with the terms of the agreement and can transfer no more than 30 000 (30 % of the previously declared sum). Such a sudden and far-reaching reduction of the CCA’s contribution to the festival will entail an automatic and proportional reduction of grants awarded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Municipal Office of Warsaw (meaning their significant amount will not be used). As the result of a single and radical decision by the director of the CCA it is impossible to organize the festival (for the first time in its over 20-year-long history), or even to cover the costs related to its cancellation.

The Independent Self-governing Trade Union Solidarność has been reporting issues, related to the functioning of the CCA, resulting from bad management, for over a year now. Our initiatives (such as the letter sent May 24, 2012 and signed by all members of the curatorial staff) have never received a fair answer, nor have they resulted in any attempt at changing the management style on your part as director. The lack of coherence in the running of such a large institution, the lack of knowledge of existing rules and regulations, the lack of regard for the local context of Poland and Warsaw, the lack of responsibility for administering public finances, and last but not least, the lack of respect for artists and their work, as well as the work of curators, technical and administrative staff, have all led the CCA Ujazdowski Castle to financial and ethical bankruptcy.

You are responsible for this situation! The CAA Ujazdowski Castle cannot continue to work this way.

 

Head of the 667th Company Branch of the

Independent Self-governing Trade Union Solidarność

Janusz  Byszewski

 

To the attention:

Mr Bogdan Zdrojewski

Minister of Culture and National Heritage

 

Mr Zenon Butkiewicz

Director of the Department for National Cultural Institutions

Minister of Culture and National Heritage

 

_________________________________________________________________________

//PL

 

KZ  NSZZ Solidarność nr 677

w Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej

Zamek Ujazdowski

ul. Jazdów 2, 00-467 Warszawa

 

Warszawa, 16.09.2013

 

Pan Fabio Cavallucci

Dyrektor

CSW Zamek Ujazdowski

 

Szanowny Panie Dyrektorze,

W związku z dochodzącymi do nas z różnych stron – w tym od Pana – informacjami o złym, wręcz fatalnym stanie finansów CSW, chcielibyśmy po raz kolejny wyrazić zaniepokojenie stylem zarządzania naszą instytucją i jednocześnie poprosić o przedstawienie naszej aktualnej kondycji oraz jej przyczyn.

Dzięki wysokim dotacjom ze strony MKIDN, w sezonach 2012 i 2013 CSW Zamek Ujazdowski dysponował bezprecedensowo wysokim budżetem. Pracownicy z większym doświadczeniem nie pamiętają okresu, w którym mielibyśmy do dyspozycji tak duże środki. Tym bardziej zdziwieni i zaniepokojeni jesteśmy informacjami o odwoływaniu z przyczyn finansowaych kolejnych zaplanowanych na bieżący rok projektów. Przesunięte na rok przyszły zostały już wystawy Normana Leto i Marthy Rosler. Teraz dowiadujemy się, że pod znakiem zapytania stoi również realizacja jubileuszowej, XX edycji Festiwalu Rozdroże, projektu Lutosfera oraz projektu Pawła Althamera i Artura Żmijewskiego, a więc praktycznie wszystkich głównych elementów programu, jakie pozostały nam do zrealizowania w roku 2013. Odwoływanie tych przedsięwzięć rozważane jest pomimo tego, że mają one finansowanie zewnętrzne, pochodzące głównie z grantów MKIDN.

To bezprecedensowa sytuacja w historii CSW podobnie jak bezprecedensowy jest obecny wysoki budżet. Zdajemy sobie pytanie jak to możliwe, że mając więcej pieniędzy niż kiedykolwiek, CSW ma kłopoty ze zrealizowaniem kluczowych punktów programu, w tym takich, które, jak projekt Pawła Althamera, planowane są od ponad 2 lat?

Z rosnącym niepokojem obserwujemy styl zarządzania CSW Zamek Ujazdowski, który, w naszej ocenie, nie sprzyja racjonalnemu planowaniu i realizowaniu wydatków związanych z projektami. Główne przedmioty naszej troski są następujące:

Brak komunikacji z zespołem. Od ponad roku w CSW ustały praktycznie jakiekolwiek dyskusje      programowe; o programie decyduje Pan jednoosobowo, bez konsultacji czy choćby debaty z kolegium kuratorów. Ostatnio przestał Pan nawet informować zespół o swoich planach; merytoryczni pracownicy CSW nie wiedzą nad czym będzie pracować instytucja za kilka miesięcy. 

Nigdy nie podjęto z zespołem próby ewaluacji bardzo wątpliwego pod względem treści merytorycznych i artystycznych projektu „Zielony Jazdów”, którego tegoroczny budżet zamknie się kwotą ok. 500 000 zł. Warto też zaznaczyć, że nie otrzymano na ten projekt dotacji z Urzędu m.st. Warszawy, a zeszłoroczna została oddana, bo została wydana niezgodnie z przeznaczeniem.

Również niektóre sposoby porozumiewania się z artystami budzą nasz głęboki sprzeciw. Do historii Zamku przejdzie sprawa straszenia policją zaproszonej do programu artystki!

Nieumiejętne zarządzanie zespołem i łamanie kodeksu pracy. Oto dwa, rażące przykłady:

a. Stała praktyka powierzania niemożliwych do wykonania (np. ze względu na małą ilość czasu, brak wystarczającego budżetu itp.) zadań oraz wymaganie realizacji poleceń przekraczających uprawnienia i kompetencję pracowników, np: powierzenie stworzenia milionowego budżetu wystawy polsko – brytyjskiej osobie bez doświadczenia i przygotowania merytorycznego, zatrudnionej na okres próbny oraz obciążenie jej odpowiedzialnością za prawidłową realizację tego budżetu.

b. Wymaganie od osoby zatrudnionej na umowę zlecenie (czyli bez określonego przepisami czasu pracy) minimum ośmiogodzinnego trybu pracy (jak w przypadku umowy o pracę) z zaznaczeniem, że to i tak zdecydowanie za mało, wymuszanie dłuższego czasu pracy, często sięgającego nawet 10 – 12 godzin dziennie i więcej (oczywiście bez dodatkowej zapłaty za wykonaną pracę); wymaganie pracy w weekendy, przymus bycia w kontakcie telefonicznym z dyrekcją po godzinach pracy oraz w weekendy.

Dokładnie te problemy przedstawia pismo pełnomocnika dyrektora ds. Realizacji programu, Henryka Gaca (w załączeniu).

Brak długofalowego planowania. Od dłuższego czasu perspektywa potwierdzonych planów programowych CSW nie wybiega poza kilka miesięcy naprzód. Obecny sezon nie jest wyjątkiem: nie są potwierdzone daty i listy projektów na pierwszą połowę 2014, nie mówiąc o drugiej połowie. Wystawy odwoływane i przesuwane są często na niecałe dwa miesiące przed ich planowanym otwarciem (np. Martha Rosler, Norman Leto), decyzje o realizacji projektów podejmowane są w ostatniej chwili (np. wystawa podsumowująca projekt Laboratorium Przyszłości). Chaos i decyzje o zmianach podejmowane z dnia na dzień nie sprzyjają ani solidnej merytorycznej pracy, ani racjonalnemu planowaniu wydatków, ani pozyskiwaniu dodatkowych środków spoza budżetu CSW.

Chaotyczna polityka zatrudnienia. W CSW zapanowała ogromna rotacja. Wielu z nowo przyjmowanych pracowników odchodzi lub jest zwalnianych po paru miesiącach – zanim pracownicy owi zdążą nabyć doświadczenie, wciągnąć się w swoje obowiązki i odnaleźć swoje miejsce w zespole. Odejścia z pracy związane są z złymi warunkami zatrudnienia (umowy śmieciowe, nadmiar obowiązków lub przeciwnienie – precyzyjne ich zdefiniowanie). W rezultacie niektórzy nowo przyjęci pracownicy po kilku miesiącach spędzonych w CSW wciąż nie widzą do końca, co mają robić. Spontaniczne zatrudnianie ad hoc znacznej ilości osób na umowy zlecenia do naprędce i nieprecyzyjnie definiowanych zadań doprowadziło – znów po raz pierwszy w historii CSW – do wyczerpania bezosobowego funduszu płac już latem 2013, a więc na wiele miesięcy przed końcem roku budżetowego.  Skutkuje to problemami natury formalnej oraz wzrostem kosztów operacyjnych.

Dezorganizacja Działu Promocji i Fundraisingu. Dwa kluczowe dla obsługi programu merytorycznego działy od prawie trzech lat są przez Dyrekcję CSW wciąż na nowo organizowane, a w zasadzie dezorganizowane. Dział Promocji rozrósł się w ostatnim czasie do blisko 10 osób, ale wiele z nich nie ma określonych obowiązków, co powoduje chaos i nieefektywne wykorzystywanie czasu pracy. Uważamy, że za tę wysoce niekorzystną dla instytucji sytuację odpowiada brak profesjonalizmu ze strony kadry zarządzającej CSW (przypominamy, że sprawy organizacji Działu Promocji ma w zakresie swoich obowiązków służbowych  wicedyrektor Joanna Szwajcowska). Nie rozumiemy z jakiego powodu podjęta została ostatnio decyzja o zatrudnieniu w CSW  włoskiej specjalistki od promocji, pani Lary Facco. Zespół Promocji nie został jasno poinformowany o jej roli i zasadach wzajemnej współpracy. Razem z panią Facco w Dziale Promocji pojawiły się dwie kolejne osoby, których obowiązki powielają się z dotychczasowymi obowiązkami innych zatrudnionych tam osób. To powiększa chaos i dezorientację. W związku z tym prosimy o przedstawienie nam kryteriów wyboru specjalisty ds. Promocji na stanowisko piastowane obecnie przez panią Facco oraz oczekiwanych rezultatów jej pracy w CSW, jak również uzasadnienia wszystkich poniesionych w tym wypadku kosztów (bardzo wysoka, odbiegająca od poziomu wynagradzań w CSW pensja, koszty związane z wynajęciem dla niej mieszkania w centrum Warszawy, koszty biletów lotniczych na trasie Mediolan-Warszawa-Mediolan w częstotliwości „na życzenie”). Takie decyzje są dla nas całkowicie niezrozumiałe w kontekście ogłoszonego oficjalnie już w sierpniu kryzysu finansowego CSW i dotkliwego cięcia wydatków programowych oraz płacowych dla innych pracowników. Dział Fundraisingu, który powinien już od dawna w profesjonalny sposób pozyskiwać  finansowanie dla projektów realizowanych w CSW, praktycznie nie działa, i o ile nam wiadomo liczy obecnie jedną osobę. Efektem tego jest niemal całkowity brak zewnętrznego wsparcia finansowego  przy projekcie polsko-brytyjskim, żeby pozostać przy najbardziej aktualnym przykładzie. Nie można także ustalić, który dyrektor koordynuje prace Działu.

Bagatelizowanie roli edukacji w narodowej instytucji kultury, co przejawia się wstrzymaniem od września br. finansowania obu działów edukcji w CSW. Jest to dla nas tym bardziej nie do zaakceptowania, ponieważ planowany wcześniej budżet na edukację był i tak skandalicznie niski.

Program Laboratorium Edukacji Twórczej i Program Edukacji – po decyzji o zabraniu im wszelkich środków – od września do końca roku przestają funkcjonować.  W 2013 roku CSW wydało na działanie tych ważnych działów zaledwie 0,4 % całkowitego budżetu instytucji. Jest to  niezgodne z misją CSW. Trudno byłoby znależć na świecie podobną instytucję, która faktycznie na edukację przeznacza ok 0,4 % budżetu przeznaczonego na działaność merytoryczną.

Niezrozumiały podział programu CSW na projekty, które dyrekcja „toleruje” i na te, które inicjowane są przez samego dyrektora, będące pod jego osobistą kuratelą. Te pierwsze muszą mieścić się (i mieszczą się) w ściśle nakreślonych dla nich ramach budżetowych. Z kolei projekty realizowane z osobistej inicjatywy dyrektora, zdają się mieć nieograniczone finansowanie; ich budżety nie są ściśle określone, na porządku dziennym jest przekraczanie pierwotnie założonych kosztów nawet o 100% i więcej (najświeższy przykład: wystawa „Polish Polish British British – pierwotny budżet wystawy 400 000 zł, finalny ponad 1 000 000 zł).

Straty finansowe spowodowane niewywiązywaniem się z realizacji zaplanowanych projektów merytorycznych bądź inwestycyjnych. Niepokojącymi przykładami są  tu chociażby Festiwal Rozdroże, na poczet organizacji którego zostały już wydane spore środki finansowe oraz planowane zadaszenie dziedzińca w Zamku Ujazdowskim, z której to decyzji Dyrekcja zamierza się wycować. Na projekt zadaszenia wydano już 35 000 zł, a dodatkowe straty w wysokości 80 000 zł wygeneruje odstąpienie od umowy z firmami, które planowały w II połowie roku wynajem zadaszonego dziedzińca. Generalnie CSW ponosi ogromne straty finansowe wynikające ze złego zarządzania, braku planowania (zamawianie usług, kupowanie materiałów czy biletów lotniczych w ostatniej chwili po wiele wyższych kosztach itp.), ciągłego zmieniania decyzji w wyniku tzw. „ręcznego sterowania”, co skutkuje marnotrawieniem pieniędzy. Lista tych negatywnych poczynań jest bardzo długa.

Świadome marginalizowanie muzycznego Programu Strefa działającego w CSW, który już od kilkunastu lat jest jednym z najważniejszych miejsc prezentacji współczesnej muzyki eksperymentalnej w Polsce. Już od trzech lat Program Strefa prezentuje w Zamku Ujazdowskim artystów z kraju i zagranicy praktycznie nie mając finansowego wsparcia rodzimej instytucji  (od stycznia do czerwca 2013 Program Strefa dysponował budżetem 15 000 zł). Oburza nas również lekceważnie i  uniemożliwianie działania wieloletnich programów CSW, takich jak festiwal Rozdroże czy Kino Lab, które  uzyskały często miedzynarodową  renomę.

MKiDN w wyniku konkursu ofert przyznało Fundacji Sztuka i Współczesność duży  grant w kwocie 200 000 zł na pokrycie 49,49 % kosztów organizacji festiwalu “XX Międzynarodowe Spotkania Sztuki Akcji . ROZDROŻE 2013. Spektakle artystów z Nowego Jorku i Warszawy”. Współorganizatorem festiwalu posiadającego od lat wysoki poziom i prestiż jest CSW Zamek Ujazdowski, które w lipcu br. podpisało z ww. Fundacją umowę o współpracy przy organizacji Rozdroża, na mocy której CSW zobowiązało się przelać na konto Fundacji kwotę 100 000 zł (tj. pokryć 1/4 kosztów organizacji imprezy). Dnia 11 września br. poinformował Pan kuratora Janusza Marka,  że CSW nie jest w stanie wywiązać się z podpisanej umowy i może przekazać na konto Fundacji kwotę 30 000 zł (tj. 30 % zadeklarowanej w umowie sumy). Tak drastyczne i nagłe zmniejszenie wkładu CSW w organizację festiwalu spowoduje automatyczne i proporcjonalne zmniejszenie wysokości grantów przyznanych przez MKiDN oraz Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa (a więc niewykorzystanie ich znacznej części), w rezultacie tej radykalnej decyzji dyrekcji CSW nie da się ani zorganizować festiwalu (po raz pierwszy w jego 20-letniej historii), ani pokryć kosztów związanych z jego odwołaniem.

NSZZ Solidarność od ponad roku sygnalizował Panu problemy związane z funkcjonowaniem CSW, wynikające ze złego sposobu kierowania tą instytucją. Nasze wystąpienia (np. pismo z dn.24.05.2012 podpisane przez wszystkich kuratorów) nie spotkały się nigdy z rzetelną odpowiedzią, ani też nie zaowocowały z Pańskiej strony próbą zmiany stylu zarządzania. Niespójność w kierowaniu dużą instytucją, brak znajomosci przepisów, nie uwzględnianie warszawskich i polskich realiów, brak odpowiedzialności w gospodarowaniu publicznymi środkami finansowymi, wreszcie brak szacunku dla twórców oraz ich pracy, jak również pracy kuratorów, pracowników technicznych i administracyjnych doprowadziły do bankructwa programowego, finansowego i etycznego Zamku Ujazdowskiego.

To Pan za tę sytuację odpowiada! CSW Zamek Ujazdowski tak dalej nie może funkcjonować.

 

Przewodniczący KZ NSZZ Solidarność nr 677

Janusz  Byszewski

 

Pełnomocnika dyrektora d/s realizacji programu CSW ZU

 

Do wiadomosci:

Pan Bogdan Zdrojewski

Minister Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego

 

Pan Zenon Butkiewicz

Dyrektor Departamentu Narodowych Instytucji Kultur

MKiDN

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