LOOS response to the negative opinion of the Advisory Committee (English version)
April 24, 2020
LOOS response to the negative opinion of the Advisory Committee on the LOOS plan for the Multi-year Policy Plan for Art and Culture 2021-2024 of the Municipality of The Hague:
Last week, LOOS was given the unfortunate news that the Advisory Committee for Art and Culture has completely suspended their support for our activities from 2021-2024.
The Committee seems to have arrived at the conclusion that it is our intention to lock the door of our studio, which has become well-known as Studio LOOS, to the public and no longer welcome the community to join us in our researching and experimenting. This judgment appears central to the negative final assessment of the LOOS arts plan 2021-2024 as a whole. Unfortunately, this judgement is based upon a misunderstanding. LOOS has never intended to close the studio nor to exclude people from our activities in any way, as presenting and sharing are intrinsic to the history and future goals of LOOS.
The core activity of LOOS is not at stake. Fortunately, “the Committee expressly does not question the artistic qualities of LOOS.” The Committee “sees Studio LOOS as an institution in new music, in which research and experiment are central. The Studio […] is a laboratory for special innovative developments in technology and music. This makes the Studio a place for talent development, for example for students of the Royal Conservatoire” (Advice from the Advisory Committee, pages 268-269).
Nevertheless, the Committee believes that LOOS will perform its laboratory function insufficiently with “the closure of Studio LOOS” and “the discontinuation of the auditorium” and that LOOS as an institution would become “closed off” as a result (page 269). The Committee criticized the plan further, saying that our proposal for the foundation of a new ensemble gave an implausible explanation for how it will generate sufficient audience, visibility, and income.
As a group, we would like to reiterate that nowhere in the arts plan of LOOS does it say that Studio LOOS will be closed or its activities discontinued. We recognize the need for creative artistic spaces and are committed to fulfilling that role. The studio will also remain available for use by third parties. The only change that has been made in regards to the function of Studio LOOS is that its operation as a professional concert hall is no longer considered one of the core activities of the LOOS Foundation. Professional-level management requires qualitative expertise and budget. With the current budget, LOOS cannot be a successful laboratory for new music and be a professional concert organizer at the same time; the latter diminishes and weakens efforts to make the former successful - the former being the most intense need we see in our artistic community. We find a count of the number of concerts organized per year to be a sterile and superficial measure of how successfully LOOS performs its function, especially after 16 years of experience in the field.
That being said: to maintain Studio LOOS as a professional concert hall, LOOS is looking for a partnership with a party that can exercise this as its core task. LOOS has proposed to share management with a larger organization in order to improve the quality of the facilitation of artists, the cultural field, and the public in order to enable a multitude of different artistic activities - in addition to the new LOOS Performers Lab - for a much larger audience. The Fair Practice Code regulations of the Municipality of The Hague were prioritized in and helped inform this decision.
LOOS has pursued the cultural policy goals of the Municipality of The Hague by opting for quality over quantity. LOOS believes that experimentation, research, innovation, young artists, and our community deserve good facilitation and decent payment, especially when public money is involved.
The conclusion drawn by the Committee that LOOS is cancelling the studio and can therefore no longer properly perform its laboratory function is based on an incorrect assumption. The committee has misinterpreted the LOOS plan and appears to be suffering from tunnel vision based on false judgements. We can therefore only say that this final judgement has been built upon an unsound foundation and does not do justice to the enormous contribution to the diversity of the arts in The Hague that LOOS has delivered with minimal resources in the breeding ground DCR since 2005.