The Idea behind BiKUR, the Institute für Visual Artists‘ Rights, the Approach

Pictorial creativity and visual art in the sense of pictorial representations of the creator’s feelings and reflections on objects in the real world or in the imagination can (may) be understood as relationship and bonding work. From cognitive work comparable to scientific work, these feelings and reflections can lead to important expressions of views in the process of forming opinions in a democratic state. As such, the results of this work (workpieces/works) are offers to outsiders to relate and connect to a theme, to a specific design, to a specific composition. They are offers to enter into communication with each other about objects of thought.

An important part of this communication can result from the experience and knowledge that one and the same starting point can lead to different approaches and designed messages of the self by the individuals in a group if the goals of the single creation are not given from the outside, i.e. extrinsically, but are determined by the creative individual’s will alone, i.e. intrinsically. It ist he experience of the uniqueness of each individual.

The experience of the uniqueness of each individual gives rise to an awareness among creators of the need to protect this uniqueness and ist contingencies of artistic design. On the one hand, this need for protection relates to the process of creation. On the other hand, it relates to the publication of the created form.

The recognition and protection of creative processes and resulting works does not only follow the quality/nature of works. What is decisive is how a large number of players in our society deal with the objects of thought that artists introduce into the communicative process. The diverse players include patrons, financiers, collectors, lawyers, publishers, entertainers, journalists and photographers, but also participants in the art supplies and art trade, gallery owners, art historians, museum people and expecially curators, and last but not least quacks and charlatans. In relations to all these, the isolated recipient or even the consumer of art works only has a serving function.

The awareness of the diversity of uniqueness in our society and the need to protect uniqueness lead to redical-democratic thinking and feeling if the value of uniqueness is recognised.

All forms of pictorial creativity and visual art are a remedy against the lack of attachment and relationships, as they have come to appear as a result of certain ways of education and certain social conditions.

Handicraft work is satisfying through the experience of physical self-empowerment, but adhere to given rules/norms. Every artistic production leads beyond this physical experience into the realm of spiritual self-power.

This causes covetousness in those who do not have this experience of self-empowerment, but do see it as a potential that they either want to control of acquire through theft.

The consequences are encroachments and assaults that are partly taken for granted that even well-meaning people are unaware of the encroachments and assaults. Expecially in the democratic age, in which more and more people have been able to fight for and still have to fight for spaces of entitlement, artists suffer from a spreading disdain from drives of overpowering. The happy hour provides cheap drinks, the public presentation of works of art in cyberspace, analog or digital, provides easy access. Respect for the individual, for the insights that individuals have acquired by working long hours, days, months or years, i soften completely lost from view.

BiKUR, the Institute for Visual Artists‘ Rights, is taking on this situation. The non-profit initiative, which is financed exclusively from private funds, wants to creat awareness of these assaults and abuses. In the community of citizens as well as at the legislative level.

The starting point are ideas that began with Albrecht Dürer, led to politically active artists‘ associations in the 19th century in the debate about the preservation of freedom rights against interests and to the first parliamentary legislations, have been promoted by Harry Graf Kessler and the artists of the Berlin Secession in the early 20th century and have been asserted by the Frankfurt artist of the present Isolde Klaunig and a few other artists in test cases in court, each with a devastating outcome.

BiKUR wants to develop and present a comprehensive history of visual artist rights, i.e. the rights of painters, graphic artists, sculptors and of those who develop new forms of representation like artistic installations, performances, actions and other forms working for instance with the human body or with ready mades.

Apart from that, the institute publishes a magazine that deals with the systematic treatment of relevant legal issues and works together with contemporary artists.

This page is still under construction and will be updated regularly.