23 December 2011

Article in El Mundo

Today an article by the journalist José María Rondón was published in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. Rondón discusses the debts of Fundación Biacs, and specifically its debts to the author of this blog and his colleagues. In the article, Rondón is also referring to this blog.

The first part of the article in El Mundo today.

19 December 2011

Ayuntamiento hesitates to support Biacs 4

The Ayuntamiento of Seville will probably not support Biacs 4 with the 350.000 euro that Fundación Biacs has applied for, says its representative María del Mar Sánchez Estrella, according to an article published last week. Sanchez Estrella says that a smaller amount would perhaps be possible, but that the financial problems of Fundación Biacs need to be solved before a Biacs 4 could happen. We welcome this attitude, and hope that this can force Biacs to pay its debts. Neither Sanchez Estrella nor her colleagues have heard from Biacs since July. 

4 December 2011

Blog in Spanish news

The number of visitors to this blog has exploded, and yesterday José Gallego Espina wrote about it in El Correo de Andalucía. Our goal is to draw attention to serious labour violations committed by Fundación Biacs, and this seems to work in a major way. We have been contacted by artists and organizations who also are worrying about, and seeking solutions to, the situation. (Thank you for your support!) Together with journalists like José Gallego Espina we will make the secrets of Biacs unfold to the public.

If Sevilla ever want to host an international contemporary art biennial again, Biacs needs to pay the money back that they, for several years now, have "borrowed" from artists. At the moment Fundación Biacs is flying below the radar, and it is next to impossible to contact the organisation. We have been trying to contact Biacs president Juan Suárez, but he refused our calls.

The whole situation with Fundación Biacs taking money from exhibiting artists is highly embarrassing not only to the foundation itself, but also to its funders and sponsors, e.g. the Ayuntamiento de Sevilla, the Spanish Ministry of Culture and the Region of Andalucía.

We haven't found out whether Luis Olivar O'Neill is still the director of Biacs, or if Moritz Küng will actually be the curator of Biacs 4. If you have updated inside information about this, please let us know.

1 December 2011

Get in touch!

Did you also have a bad experience with Fundación Biacs? Are you an artist who exhibited at a previous Seville biennial, still waiting to get your money? We would like to hear your story!

If more artists join and demand that Biacs pay their debts, the foundation needs to react. If all artists decide that Biacs must stop being corrupt and exploitative, there will be no more Seville biennials – unless Biacs starts acting in a decent manner.

Let us talk to Moritz Küng, Juan Suárez, Juana de Aizpuru and Biacs funders and sponsors, the Ayuntamiento de Sevilla, the Spanish Ministry of Culture and the Region of Andalucía. They cannot all support Biacs behavior wholeheartedly. 

Please send us an email!

Peter Weibel, curator of Biacs 3, eventually got paid for his work. The exhibiting artists did not. Most artists even lost money, since Fundación Biacs did not pay back their expenses.

9 November 2011

Warning to artists!

Artists who accept to exhibit at Biacs 4 take a large financial risk. Fundación Biacs have a history of not paying back expenses to artists who exhibit at the biennial. The foundation also normally don't pay artists for their work, hence artists who participate in Biacs 4 will sponsor the biennial with unpaid work hours.

According to an article in spanish newspaper El Mundo, Fundación Biacs has debts of more than 500 000 euros to artists and others. We have been in contact with many artists from the last Seville biennial, Biacs 3, who have not been paid for their expenses. Therefore we would like to make a proposal to all artists who have been invited to Biacs 4:

- In solidarity with all those artists who have exhibited at previous Seville biennials, do not accept the invitation! Unless Biacs first pays back all their debts.

If you don't care about cultural politics and labour rights: Make sure Fundación Biacs pays your expenses on beforehand. And be prepared for trouble.

About Fundación Biacs

Biacs 4 will take place in Sevilla in October 2012, according to numerous articles. There have been speculations that the Swiss Moritz Küng will curate the biennial, although Küng himself raises doubts in this open letter. The architect Juan Suárez is the new president of Fundación Biacs, and the gallerist Juana de Aizpuru its new honorary president.

Fundación Biacs took down its website last year, and it is very difficult to contact the organisation. We know that Isabel Ruiz still works as its coordinator. Isabel Ruiz claims that Luis Olivar O'Neill is no longer the director of Biacs. Luis Olivar O'Neill himself claims on LinkedIn that he is still the director. Please let us know if you have any more information on this topic, or if you have contact information to Isabel Ruiz or Luis Olivar O'Neill.

Luis Olivar O'Neill is, together with Fernando Franco, ex-president of Biacs, responsible for the large money scandal around Biacs 3.

Fernando Franco, ex-president of Fundación Biacs, and responsible for the large money scandal around Biacs 3.
Juana de Aizpuru owns the Juana de Aizpuru Gallery.

Juan Suárez works at CHSarquitectoswho participated in the last edition of the biennial, Biacs 3.

Moritz Küng is director of the New Centre for Contemporary Art 'El Canodrom / La Capella' in Barcelona.