Very timely article....this is a good summary of common practices.
“Some of these rapidly proliferating events, which have popped up everywhere from Honolulu to Oslo over the past 30 years, pay artists nothing to participate. Many [artists] offer a fee of just $1,000 or $2,000; the highest sum mentioned was $5,000. Some provide for production and transportation; others rely on artists, or their galleries and collectors, to foot the bill.
..Most biennials are based on the idea that they generate a sort of ‘promotion value’ for your work, and that this exposure is benefit enough,’ Elmgreen says.
Veteran curator Robert Storr, who was the artistic director of the 2007 Venice Biennale, recalls an unnamed artist who participated in one of the European national pavilions that year and went deep into debt to finance her own show...”