Article I – Aims and Activities
Article II – Individual Members
Article III – Benefactor Members
Article IV – Honorary Members
Article V – Structure
Article VI – Administration
Article VII – General Assembly
Article VIII – Administrative Council
Article IX – Executive Bureau
Article X – President
Article XI – Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General
Article XII – Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer
Article XIII – Vice-Presidents
Article XIV – International Members
Article XV – Regional Secretaries
Article XVI – Voting
Article XVII – Congress
Article XVIII – Resources
Article XIX – Financial Oversight
Article XX – Regulations
Article XXI – Reform of the Statutes
Statutes adopted by the General Assembly at Fort de France, Martinique, 16 November 2003
Article I. Aims and Activities
- The International Association of Art Critics (AICA = Association Internationale des¬†Critiques d‚ÄôArt) is an international, non-governmental association of art critics whose¬†professional activity is criticism in all media, teaching, or curating exhibitions. Its function is¬†to promote the understanding and critical interpretation of the visual arts, in all their histories¬†and manifestations. Its Members are primarily concerned with the modern and contemporary¬†arts of all cultures. The Association brings together art critics of all nations who wish to¬†develop international cooperation and examine, and report on, the economic, political and¬†social forces that shape art.
- Its aims are:
- to promote art criticism as a discipline and contribute to its methodology
- to promote the ethical and professional interests of its Members and co-operate in¬†defending their rights
- to maintain an active international network for its Members, with the aid of available technologies and encouragement of face-to-face encounters
- to contribute to mutual understanding of visual arts and aesthetics in all cultures
- to stimulate professional relationships across political, geographical, ethnic, economic and¬†religious boundaries
- to defend impartially freedom of expression and thought and oppose arbitrary censorship
- The Association may organise colloquia, lectures, seminars, discussions and other activities connected with the visual arts. It may also take the lead, in writing, translating, editing,¬†filming, recording and publishing material. It may create temporary or permanent working¬†groups and undertake surveys and research, either on its own initiative or in collaboration¬†with other organisations whose aims are not incompatible with its own. Such activities are¬†subject to the approval of the Administrative Council and the Executive Bureau.
- The Association‚Äôs programme of cultural activities is determined in outline by the General¬†Assembly and reported on in detail by its officers and elected representatives, at meetings of¬†the Administrative Council and the General Assembly.
Article II. Individual Members
- To become a Member of the Association, candidates need first to join either a National¬†Section (see V.2, below) or the Free Section (see V.3, below).¬†All applications must be accompanied by a short curriculum vitae on a standard biographical¬†form, written in one of the three official languages of the Association. They must be¬†supported by evidence of sustained activity over the previous three years, in one or more of¬†the following areas:
- Daily/periodical press, or broadcasting on radio, TV or video, or in the electronic media
- Publication of works of art history, aesthetics or criticism
- Teaching of art criticism, art history, aesthetics, curating, or art, at higher or tertiary level
- Curatorial work and analysis for educational or scholarly ends, including the production of¬†scholarly or critical texts for museums or galleries, whose principal aim is not essentially¬†commercial
- On election to the National Section or the Free Section, Members are immediately entitled¬†to a membership card and sticker for the current year. The card remains the property of the¬†Association and must be surrendered, on request (see II.5 and II.8, below).
- After election to a National Section or the Free Section, the biographical forms of the¬†newly elected Members are forwarded by the President of that Section or, in the case of the¬†Free Section, by two sponsoring Members of the Administrative Council, to the Secretary-General. No other documents are required, at this second stage. The biographical forms then¬†go forward for individual endorsement by majority vote at the next General Assembly (See¬†II.7, II.8 and VII.6q), below and Regulations). The Assembly‚Äôs endorsement may not be¬†withheld, other than for legal or procedural reasons. After endorsement, new Members¬†acquire the right to vote at subsequent General Assemblies, provided that both they and their¬†National Sections are up to date with their annual subscriptions. They also acquire right of¬†access to all information stored on those parts of the Association‚Äôs Website which are¬†reserved for the Membership only.¬†Successful applications to National Sections or the Free Section must be in accordance with¬†the criteria for eligibility set out in Article II.1, above. The Presidents of National Sections¬†and, for the Free Section, the International President, are responsible for scrutinising¬†applications closely, with this in mind.
- Newly elected Members start paying a regular annual fee to the Association from the¬†beginning of the calendar year following that in which their election is endorsed by the¬†General Assembly.
- Membership is forfeited:
- by resignation
- by non-payment of the membership fee for two years
- by expulsion at a General Assembly, if so recommended by the Administrative Council, on¬†grounds of serious misconduct
- If an application for membership of a National Section is rejected by the Section, the¬†applicant may seek review of the decision by that Section or apply to the Secretary-General¬†for membership of the Free Section. In either instance, the National Section must provide the¬†candidate with a written explanation of the grounds for rejection. If an application for membership of the Free Section is rejected by the Section, the applicant may seek review of¬†the decision by that Section. The Free Section must provide the candidate with a written¬†explanation of the grounds for rejection.~
- A candidate whose application is not formally endorsed by the Electoral and Membership¬†Commission and the President of his/her Section must be given the reason for this, in writing,¬†within twenty-four hours, by the Chair of that Commission (see Regulations).
- A candidate whose application is not formally endorsed by the General Assembly will be¬†asked to return his or her membership card and sticker to the Headquarters office, in Paris.
Article III. Benefactor Members
From time to time, the Association may elect, usually for a fixed term, individual or corporate¬†Benefactor Members who have contributed, or who intend to contribute, to the welfare or¬†activities of the Association. Benefactor Members will be recommended by a simple majority¬†of the voting Members present, or represented, at a session of the Administrative Council and¬†presented to the Membership, for election at the next General Assembly. Benefactor Members¬†receive a membership card and annual sticker and are invited to take part in the Congress, in¬†relevant social functions and in the General Assembly, but have no voting rights.
Article IV. Honorary Members
National Sections may, at their discretion, invite individual Members of particular distinction¬†to join the Association as, or hold the title of, Honorary Members. They must pay the annual¬†subscriptions of their Honorary Members to the Paris Bureau, in return for which the¬†Honorary Members will be accorded a membership card, annual sticker and full voting rights.
Article V. Structure
- On an administrative level the Association is composed of:
- The General Assembly (see VII, below)
- National Sections and a Free Section (see II, above)
- Regional Secretariats (optional) (see XV, below)
- The Administrative Council (see VIII, below)
- The Executive Bureau (see IX, below)
- Permanent and temporary Committees and Commissions (see XIX, below and Regulations)
- AICA‚Äôs Archive at the Archives de la critique d‚Äôart, Ch√Ęteaugiron, Brittany (see VIII.1 g)¬†and X.9, below)
- The National Sections write their own Statutes. These need not be identical to the Statutes¬†of AICA, but should not conflict with them, nor with the laws and customs of the Sections‚Äô¬†respective countries. They are subject to approval by the Administrative Council.
- The Free Section is composed of Members who, for valid reasons acceptable to the¬†Administrative Council, do not wish, or are unable, to join one of the National Sections.¬†The Board of the Free Section is made up of the International President of the Association,¬†the Secretary-General and the Treasurer, ex officio. The Statutes and Regulations of the Free¬†Section are subject to the same conditions and constraints as those of the International AICA.
- The official languages of the Association are English, French and Spanish.
- The Headquarters of the Association is in Paris, as AICA is a Non-Governmental¬†Organisation, recognised by UNESCO. A change of location may be agreed, only if three¬†quarters of the total Membership vote in favour of a formal motion to this effect, in¬†accordance with the procedures in operation for the election of the International President (see¬†X, below and Regulations), or if three quarters of those attending the General Assembly vote¬†for such a motion on two successive occasions. In these circumstances, the Association shall¬†take such steps as are necessary, and appropriate, to obtain such privileges and benefits as¬†may be available under the laws of the country in which the new AICA Headquarters is to be¬†located.
- AICA may be dissolved by the General Assembly, if three quarters of the total Membership¬†vote in favour of a formal motion to this effect, in accordance with the procedures in¬†operation for the election of the International President (see Regulations), or if three quarters¬†of those attending the General Assembly vote for such a motion on two successive occasions.
- In the eventuality of AICA being dissolved, its assets should be transferred to an¬†organisation with aims similar to its own.
Article VI. Administration
- The Association organises a General Assembly every year.
- The Association is administered by the Administrative Council and the Executive Bureau.
Article VII. General Assembly
- The General Assembly is the supreme policy-making body of AICA.
- It is composed of the sum total of the Association‚Äôs Membership, comprising Members¬†who are up to date with their subscriptions, and Benefactor Members, without voting rights¬†and Honorary Members. Only paid-up, and endorsed, Members, whose Sections are paid up¬†for the current year, and Honorary Members, whose Sections are up to date with their¬†subscriptions, are entitled to vote.
- At the beginning of the Annual Congress, the Secretary-General and the Treasurer make¬†available to the Electoral and Membership Commission, and to all enquirers, the details of¬†those Members in National Sections or in the Free Section who are paid up and entitled to¬†vote.
- The Assembly, acting on the advice of the Administrative Council, has the power to decide¬†on the creation and expulsion of National Sections (see Regulations).
- In exceptional circumstances, where a National Section has fallen in arrears with its¬†payments, an individual Member may be permitted to pay his/her annual subscription direct to¬†the Treasurer and to negotiate temporary voting and other rights with the Chair of the¬†Electoral and Membership Commission.
- Relying on the support of the Administrative Council, and working to its recommendations,¬†the General Assembly‚Äôs functions are:
- to approve, and vote on, the minutes of the previous General Assembly
- to receive, approve, and vote on, reports from the members of the Executive Bureau on the¬†organisational and financial management of the Association
- to approve, and vote on, the accounts of the previous year, the budget for the current year¬†and the draft budget for the following year
- to decide any adjustment to membership fees that may be required for the following year
- to consider, and decide on, matters on the agenda presented by the Administrative Council¬†and the Executive Bureau
- to approve the programme for AICA for the following year
- to adopt such resolutions as it considers appropriate, in relation to all matters which are of¬†relevance to the professional concerns of its Members
- to give such direction to the Administrative Council and the Executive Bureau as it¬†considers necessary, for the Association to function effectively
- to determine on a preliminary basis the time and place of the next General Assembly and¬†Congress, and the theme of the Congress
- to adopt and amend, as necessary, its own Statutes and Regulations
- to elect the President, nine Vice-Presidents, Secretary-General, Treasurer and ten¬†International Members of the Administrative Council, and to ensure their renewal
- to elect the Regional Secretaries (if any) and ensure their renewal, on the recommendation¬†of the Administrative Council
- to ratify the appointment of the Deputy Secretary-General and Deputy Treasurer (where¬†applicable), on the recommendation of the Administrative Council
- to elect Honorary Presidents and, on the recommendation of the Administrative Council,¬†endorse Benefactor Members
- to appoint members of Committees and Commissions, on the recommendation of the¬†Administrative Council, and to ensure their renewal
- to receive reports from the National Sections and the Free Section
- to endorse or reject applications for Membership, on the advice of the Electoral and¬†Membership Commission
- to warn, formally to reprimand or, in extreme circumstances, to expel National Sections or¬†individual Members who are in breach of the Statutes and Regulations, or who stand accused¬†of serious misconduct (see II.5 c), above and Regulations)
- The General Assembly takes place every year, on a date determined by the Administrative¬†Council and notified to all Members not less than two months in advance. The Executive¬†Bureau may alter the date and place of the General Assembly, in case of force majeure.
- An Extraordinary General Assembly may be convened at the request of at least five¬†Sections, one of which may be the Free Section. At least two months‚Äô calendar notice shall be¬†given to Members of the date, time and place of the meeting. The Administrative Council¬†may also convene an Extraordinary General Assembly, on the same conditions.
- 9. The General Assembly is presided over by the President or, in his absence, by a Vice-President designated by the Administrative Council. Its sessions are organised by the¬†Secretary-General.
- The draft agenda for the General Assembly is established by the Executive Bureau, e-mailed or mailed to all National Sections and posted on the AICA Website, two months¬†before the opening of the Assembly.
- The Board of the General Assembly is the same as that of the Administrative Council and¬†of the Executive Bureau.
- Reports of the President, the Secretary-General and the Treasurer are communicated each¬†year to all Members at the end of the financial year, which runs from 1 January to 31¬†December.
Article VIII. Administrative Council
- The Association is run by the Administrative Council, which is composed of:
- The President, Secretary-General and Treasurer
- The Presidents of the National Sections
- The nine Vice-Presidents
- The Regional Secretaries, if any
- Ten International Members, elected from the Membership at the General Assembly
- The Chairmen of Committees and Commissions set up by the General Assembly
- A representative of Archives de la critique d‚Äôart (see X.9, below), with voting rights for¬†matters concerning the Archives only
- The Honorary Presidents and former International Presidents of the Association, without¬†voting rights
- The former Vice-Presidents, without voting rights
- The Administrative Council determines the broad outline of AICA‚Äôs cultural agenda, for¬†submission to the General Assembly.
- The Administrative Council studies, and approves, all matters concerning the organisation,¬†management and cultural programme of the Association.
- The functions of the Administrative Council are, furthermore:
- to vote upon, and approve, the minutes of the previous Administrative Council meeting
- to receive, and to vote on, the reports from the members of the Executive Bureau on the¬†organisational and financial management of the Association
- to receive, and approve, the audited accounts for the preceding year, the annual budget for¬†the current year and the draft budget for the following year, presented by the Treasurer
- to nominate candidates for Committees and Commissions
- to recommend to the General Assembly the level of the membership fees for the following¬†year
- to recommend Regional Secretaries (optional) to the General Assembly
- to elect Benefactor Members, for subsequent endorsement by the General Assembly
- where applicable, to appoint the Deputy Secretary-General and Deputy Treasurer, subject¬†to ratification by the General Assembly
- to advise the Executive Bureau and the General Assembly on any matter relating to the¬†policy, programme, procedures or finances of the Association
- to recommend the General Assembly to expel, formally to reprimand, or to warn National¬†Sections or individual Members
- The Administrative Council meets at least once a year, normally at the time of the General¬†Assembly and at any other time when it is convened by the President, or at the request of one¬†quarter of its Members with voting rights in all matters. One quarter of its Members with¬†voting rights in all matters must be present or represented, to make up a quorum.
- The Presidents of National Sections who are unable to attend a meeting of the¬†Administrative Council may, in advance, and in writing, nominate one other Member of their¬†Section to attend this meeting in their place and to vote, on that Section‚Äôs behalf.
- A Regional Secretary who is unable to attend a meeting of the Administrative Council may,¬†in advance, and in writing, nominate one other Member from one of the Sections in the¬†Region to attend this meeting in his or her place and to vote, on that Region‚Äôs behalf.
- Members of the Administrative Council may not receive any remuneration for their work¬†on the Council.
Article IX. Executive Bureau
- The Executive Bureau of the Association consists of the President, the Secretary-General,¬†the Treasurer and, where applicable, their Deputies. It meets at least once a year, and¬†whenever the President deems it necessary. Minutes will be kept of all meetings and will be¬†signed, as correct, by the President.
- Decisions on actions taken by the Executive Bureau between sessions of the General¬†Assembly and the Administrative Council are subject to ratification by each, at the next¬†available session.
- The members of the Executive Bureau are not remunerated for their work.
Article X. President
- All Members are eligible to stand for the Presidency, upon nomination by their National¬†Section or by one other Section, in the event of their being unable to secure the nomination of¬†their own Section, or if they belong to the Free Section. Election procedures are laid down in¬†the Regulations.
- The President represents the Association.
- The President convenes and chairs the General Assembly and the meetings of the¬†Administrative Council.
- The President may nominate one of the Vice-Presidents to act as his/her representative.
- If the President is seriously incapacitated for a period of more than four weeks, the¬†Secretary-General will assume interim control of the Association‚Äôs affairs, until such time as¬†the President is restored to his/her full capacity or until the Administrative Council resolves at¬†one of its meetings, or by majority postal or electronic vote, in a secret ballot, either to elect¬†an Acting President, from among the ranks of the nine Vice-Presidents, or to bring forward¬†the date of the next Presidential elections. The term of office of an acting President shall not¬†exceed the term of office of the elected President.
- The President oversees the expenses of the Association.
- The President may be assisted by a Consultative Committee of Members of his/her choice.
- The President is elected by the General Assembly for a period of three years and may be re-elected only once.
- The President may designate one member of the Administrative Council to represent the¬†Association on the Board of the Archives de la critique d‚Äôart, in Rennes. In exchange for this,¬†the President of Archives de la critique d‚Äôart may designate a representative of that institution¬†to sit on the Administrative Council of AICA. The role of these two nominees is to look after¬†the interests of their respective institutions, in all relevant negotiations and debates.
Article XI. Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General
- All paid-up Members are eligible for election to the post of Secretary-General. They must¬†submit their candidature, with an outline programme, to the President, one month in advance¬†of the General Assembly at which the election will be held.
- The Secretary-General is responsible for the overall administration of the Association and¬†its activities. S/he is responsible for implementing the decisions of the General Assembly and¬†the Administrative Council; for the internal operations of the administrative office of the¬†Association, including the Website and updating of the Membership directory; for facilitating¬†the work of all Committees and Commissions; for providing a service to the National¬†Sections; for publishing regular information about the Association‚Äôs activities, worldwide;¬†and for presenting reports on activity to the Administrative Council and the General¬†Assembly. S/he may represent the Association on official occasions and in all official acts and¬†legal affairs, at the request of the President.
- The Secretary-General is elected by the General Assembly for a period of four years and¬†may be re-elected for a maximum of two further periods of four years, with or without a¬†break.
- The General Assembly may ratify the appointment of a Deputy Secretary-General on the¬†same terms, on the recommendation of the Administrative Council.
- Neither the Secretary-General nor the Deputy Secretary-General may be remunerated for¬†the work s/he undertakes on behalf of the Association.
Article XII. Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer
- All paid-up Members are eligible to apply for the post of Treasurer. They must submit their¬†candidature, with an outline programme, to the President, one month in advance of the¬†General Assembly at which the election is to be held.
- The Treasurer is the Trustee of the Association‚Äôs finances. S/he controls the funds and is¬†responsible for book-keeping and accounting. S/he assesses the financial situation of the¬†Association. At each General Assembly, and at the Administrative Council preceding this,¬†s/he presents the audited accounts for the preceding financial year from 1 January to 31¬†December, submits a budget for the current year, and proposes a budget for the following¬†year.
- The Treasurer is elected for a term of four years and may be re-elected for one further term¬†of four years, with or without a break, in between.
- The General Assembly may ratify the appointment of a Deputy Treasurer on the same¬†terms, on the recommendation of the Administrative Council.
- Neither the Treasurer nor the Deputy Treasurer may be remunerated for the work s/he¬†undertakes for the Association.
Article XIII. Vice-Presidents
- Nine Vice-Presidents are elected by the General Assembly for a period of three years. One¬†third of them are replaced each year. A Vice-President leaving his/her post before the end of¬†his/her term of office will not be replaced before the appointed date.
- All paid-up Members are entitled to present their candidature for one of the posts of Vice-President and must submit a written statement of the platform on which they wish to be¬†elected to the President of the Association, one month in advance of the General Assembly.
- Vice-Presidents are elected by the General Assembly and may only be re-elected after a¬†period of one year has elapsed since s/he last held the post.
- Vice-Presidents may only serve a total of four three-year terms, with or without more than¬†the obligatory break of one year between each term.
- Vice-Presidents should submit to the Secretary-General an annual report on their activities,¬†one month in advance of the General Assembly.
Article XIV. International Members
Ten International Members are elected from the Membership by the General Assembly on the¬†grounds both of geographical balance and of the platform they present, as a basis for election.
The International Members are elected annually and may only be re-elected up to three more¬†times, with or without breaks in between.
Article XV. Regional Secretaries
- 1. The Administrative Council may decide, on occasion, to set up a Regional Secretariat. The¬†geographical divisions on which Regional Secretariats are based are subject to periodic¬†review by the Administrative Council, reporting to the General Assembly.
- A Regional Secretary acts as liaison officer with all the National Sections in his/her¬†Region. S/he is required to keep the Secretary-General informed of his/her Region‚Äôs activities,¬†at regular intervals. S/he is elected for three years and may be re-elected only once.
- A Regional Secretary may not be remunerated for the work s/he undertakes for the¬†Association.
Article XVI. Voting
- The decisions of the General Assembly and the Administrative Council require¬†endorsement by an absolute majority of the Members who are present and eligible to vote,¬†except as in Article X.5, above and in paragraph 3, below. The President‚Äôs vote is decisive, in¬†case of a tie. A relative majority is admissible, in the cases of the election of Vice-Presidents¬†and of International Members of the Administrative Council.
- Voting for the posts of President and Vice-President, Secretary-General, Treasurer and¬†Regional Secretary, and for the ten elected International Members of the Administrative¬†Council, is by secret ballot. Voting on all other issues not relating directly to individual¬†Members of the Association will be on the basis of an absolute majority and may be carried¬†out on a show of hands. Only Members who are up to date with their subscriptions have the¬†right to vote.
- Each Member is allowed one vote, in each round of voting. Absentee voting is allowed¬†only in the cases of the Presidential elections, a change in location of the Association‚Äôs¬†Headquarters, or a resolution to dissolve the Association.
Article XVII. Congress
- The Association organises an annual Congress. At this, the location for the next Congress is¬†chosen. If no decision is taken at the General Assembly, or if the decision has to be changed¬†subsequently, the Administrative Council is qualified to determine the location.
- The National Section(s) or Region that host(s) the Congress also provide(s) the Secretariat¬†and headquarters of the Congress. The Secretariat of the Congress is independent from the¬†Administrative Council, but collaborates with it, in preparing for the Congress. The Secretary-General takes part in the activities of the Secretariat of the Congress.
Article XVIII. Resources
- The resources of the Association consist of:
- Annual fees from Members and contributions from Benefactor Members
- Contributions from National Sections, according to their means and revenue generated by¬†legally authorised activities
- Grants the Association may be legally entitled to receive
- Acting on the advice of the Administrative Council the General Assembly sets the level of¬†the annual membership fee for the coming year, payable into the Association‚Äôs Euro or US¬†dollar account. This fee is collected by the National Sections from their Members, paid into¬†one of the Association‚Äôs accounts and recorded by the Treasurer. National Sections are¬†entitled to set a fee which is higher than that stipulated by the General Assembly and use the¬†additional revenue thus raised, to finance their own activities.
- Other resources to which the Association may exceptionally be entitled must receive the¬†approval of the President, who is answerable in this respect to the Administrative Council.
Article XIX. Financial Oversight
- The activities of the Association are supervised by the members of the Financial Oversight¬†Commission, composed of at least three Members elected by the General Assembly, on the¬†recommendation of the Administrative Council, for a renewable term of three years. All paid-up Members are eligible to serve on the Financial Oversight Commission and to propose their¬†own candidature to the Secretary-General, in the first instance.
- The Financial Oversight Commission exercises its right of control by examining the¬†accounts and records, including the Accountant‚Äôs report and supporting documents, three¬†months before the General Assembly. It reports to the Executive Bureau on a regular basis¬†and to the Administrative Council, which transmits the report to the General Assembly. The¬†Commission is entitled to make proposals it considers to be in the interests of the Association.
Article XX. Regulations
- The administrative functions of the Association, as well as the provisions for unforeseen¬†circumstances, are mainly covered in the Regulations issued by the Administrative Council.
- The Administrative Council may propose modifications to the Regulations. All such¬†proposals must be forwarded, in writing, to all members of the Administrative Council at least¬†two months prior to the General Assembly, at which they are to be discussed and voted upon.¬†All modifications to the Regulations which are proposed, in this way, must be approved by¬†the General Assembly.
- The General Assembly may itself also initiate proposals to modify the Regulations. In order¬†for any such proposal to succeed, it must receive the support of two thirds of the Members¬†who are present, and eligible to vote, on two successive occasions.
- Circumstances for which there is no provision in the Statutes and Regulations are settled in¬†accordance with the legislation of the country in which the Headquarters of the Association is¬†located.
Article XXI. Reform of the Statutes
- The Administrative Council may propose modifications to the Statutes. All such proposals¬†must be forwarded, in writing, to all members of the Administrative Council at least two¬†months prior to the General Assembly at which they are to be discussed and voted upon. All¬†modifications to the Statutes proposed in this way must be approved by two thirds of the¬†General Assembly.
- The General Assembly may also propose modifications to the existing Statutes. In order to¬†succeed, any such proposal must receive the support of two thirds of the Members who are¬†present and eligible to vote, on two successive occasions.
- The Statutes and Regulations are published on the Association‚Äôs Website in the three¬†official languages of the Association and may be made available to Members in printed form,¬†on demand. The published version indicates the dates of successive amendments and of their¬†adoption.