Dear members and colleagues

An update on UKK’s — Organization for Artists, Curators & Art Mediators current work and focus areas.

Inquiry into remuneration in the field of the arts

Together with the artist organizations BKF and DBF, UKK has initiated a new dialogue with artists’, museums’ and art centers’ organizations in order to secure better pay for exhibiting artists in the future. Our hope is to reach an agreement on common guidelines/recommendations that can guarantee artists’ adequate working conditions. In the long term, UKK is also working to ensure that the same applies to freelance curators.

Therefore, we need updated information regarding the current conditions that exhibiting artists and freelance curators are working under today. This information will complement existing studies from 2018, and the new data will be used as the basis for further negotiations with the Association of Danish Museums (ODM) and the Danish Association of Art Centers (FKD).

If you have exhibited, or worked as a freelance curator, at a museum or art center in Denmark in the period 2017-19, we ask you to participate in this questionnaire on the remuneration of exhibiting artists and freelance curators:

Questionnaire for artists (in Danish only)

Questionnaire for freelance curators (in Danish only)

The survey must be answered no later than March 31st, 2019. If you have had several exhibitions at museums/art centers in 2017-19, we ask you to fill out one questionnaire for each exhibition. Participation in the study is completely anonymous.

UKK’s Curator Group

The curator group is working to expand and strengthen the understandings of the curatorial profession and to make the curator’s work and its history more visible. The intention is to create a stronger platform for curators and to improve their working conditions and thus the economic underpinnings.

The group meets on an ongoing basis with colleagues in the art field in order to clarify the needs as well as to map the most productive initiatives. The group engages in close exchange with international networks and professional associations, such as the Norwegian Association of Curators, W.A.G.E. (USA) and PLATFORM BK (Holland). In addition, UKK’s curator group is in dialogue with volunteer law specialists in order to develop an advisory body for UKK’s members.

International network

At UKK, we see great potential in entering into international collaborations, in order to share knowledge and strengthen cooperation across borders. We believe it is important to nurture international partnerships, especially at a time when national border control is increasing, and, for example, the availability of English-language subjects at Danish higher educational institutions is being severely reduced.

In 2018-19, UKK became part of a new Nordic network: AOOO – Arts Organizations Out of Office. The network consists of a number of art organizations that meet three times a year. The meetings raise various issues, for example, questions about how organizations navigate when art and cultural policy are subject to, for instance, nationalism and fascism. Part of the program consists of public debates so that our members and interested parties can participate. We are currently looking for funding to development of the network over the next few years with an increased international focus.

In November 2018, Gro Sarauw, the chair of UKK, took part in VAP – Visual Arts Platform, an international network meeting hosted by the Danish Arts Foundation. The meeting resulted in an initiative by the UKK to expand the network in a process that enables further exchanges between the parties, primarily focusing on improving the structural conditions underpinning artists’ pay. The organizations involved are currently awaiting response from an EU application for a three-year exchange and knowledge-sharing project in a European perspective.

Organizational development

We are working towards further developing UKK as a member-driven organization. As part of the work, we are inquiring into how UKK can go from being a voluntary non-profit interest group organization to an organization that has the necessary financial capacity to meet our objectives. By ensuring UKK operates more effectively, we can focus on finding resources for political development work and new initiatives.

The development of UKK’s organization has three focus areas, which together cover a significant part of the arts field and its agents:

-Member organization for artists, curators and art intermediators

-Student organization for the same branch groups

– Establishment of, and participation in, international networks

Student organization

In 2017 UKK expanded the organization to represent students within the arts, curatorial and art intermediary fields. As part of this development,  our aim is to create a new understanding between the professional standards that are set in the educational programs and the reality you encounter when you have finished your education. We will do this by setting up guidelines for clearer and more sustainable pathways in the development of opportunities for the youth of the arts. We believe that the possibility of establishing a knowledge-sharing and ‘practice space’ for the various artistic agents plays a crucial role in the development of the broader art field more broadly.

With the upcoming student symposium Work, Cooperation, Organization, it is UKK’s aim to open up for the establishment of new networks; further understanding as well as interdisciplinary knowledge-sharing between students from various educational programs within the arts. The symposium is initiated by our board and organized specifically by our student representatives in collaboration with the student organization Center for Significant Experiences.

Work, Cooperation, Organization
Monday, March 25th, 2019. 10:00-19:00 at SMK – National Gallery of Denmark.
Free admission, but registration is necessary:
Facebook event

Knowledge sharing

Since our annual assembly a year ago, UKK has held a number of public debates, performances and symposia, at various venues, including Roskilde Festival, Cultural Meeting Mors, Kunsthal Aarhus, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ School of Visual Arts and The National Gallery of Denmark – SMK.

Under the main title Mourning Money, UKK held three symposia in 2018-19 with international artists, writers and theorists, who discussed the valuation of the work of art and the artists’ work in different contexts, in light of the artist’s changing working conditions and roles in the contemporary art scene.

In the first symposium New Roles for the Artist, the discussion focused on the development of the role of technology in art and how technology in conjunction with feminism can be used to rethink artistic production. The Symposium Operative Powers of Art Practice dealt with artistic practice in relation to control and how the artist in his practice is aware of the surrounding financial, institutional or other power structures. The last symposium, Macro, focused on organizations operating at the macro level in the field of the arts, discussing what features and purposes, options and limitations, macro-organizational initiatives may have and why they are important right now.

See video documentation for the Mourning Money symposia at

UKK would like to thank Bikuben Foundation and the Beckett Foundation for helping us realize Mourning Money.

Open letter to the Minister of Culture Mette Bock

Who has the right to decide how artists should act in the public debate and why hold a closed-doors meeting about it?” This is a quote from an open letter which UKK wrote together with I DO ART to the Minister of Culture Mette Bock. The letter criticized the closed framework for the “Rødding convention” 2018 and was sent out to all participants of the closed meeting in the morning before the start of the meeting.

Read the letter here (in Danish only)

Meeting with the Minister of Culture

The criticism directed at the “Rødding convention” resulted in an interview with Gro Sarauw and the Minister of Culture in the radio program AK24Syv. The interview led to a meeting held at the Ministry of Culture on September 13th, 2019. At the meeting, Gro Sarauw and board member Waqas Elahi Dar presented UKK’s agenda, which including, among other issues raised, an analysis of and reservations concerning recent elitist initiatives by the Danish Arts Foundation, such as the support program ‘The Young Artistic Elite’.

UKK’s Board

Since 1.1 2019, Gro Sarauw and Maj Horn have shared UKK’s chairmanship.

Board members: Line Ellegaard, Michala Paludan, Andreas Führer, Kasper Lynge, Nina Wölhk, David Hilmer Rex, Anders Kjær Rasmussen and Annemette Friis.

Student representatives: Thore Davies (KU), Sara Arendfelt (DFK), Waqas Elahi Dar (KADK)

A warm welcome to our new board members, elected at the general meeting 13.3 2019: Mark Tholander, Vibe Overgaard, Owen Amour and Scott William Raby.

Many thanks to Nanna Stjernholm Jepsen, Jacob Dahl Jürgensen and Isis Meander who step down from the board.

Cooperations, partnerships and representatives

UKK has ongoing partnerships and collaborations with the Danish Arts Council, the Danish Visual Artists Association (BKF), the Association of Danish Visual Artists (DFB), Roskilde Festival Arts, the Danish Arts Workshops, Aarhus Visual Arts Center, I DO ART, AOOO – Arts Organizations Out of Office, the student organization Center for Significant Experiences.

UKK meets regularly with the Danish Arts Foundation’s Visual Arts Department. The next meeting takes place on March 27th, 2019.

UKK is, among others, represented in the Danish Arts Foundation’s Council, the Danish Arts Council, the Council of Visual Arts under the City of Copenhagen, and in the Møstings Hus exhibition jury.

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