PIIGS Interview #3

Considering the socio-economical situation of your own country, which were the real employment prospects you had when you first undertook your studies in curatorial practices?

PT:In Portugal, as in other countries, we do not have many employment prospects in curatorial practices. Apart of some small projects inside universities or small galleries, it is very difficult for young curators and other art professionals to find a job and apply all their acquired skills.
In our country, we have some opportunities together with private institutions, that provide few scholarships for projects annually, but when we came across the offer in public jobs or public support for the arts, the landscape is very different.
Nonetheless, when one decides to invest in education on this subject, even if the lack of professional opportunities take part of the decision, that does not compromise the main motivation. For the main ambition comes from the personal satisfaction that the world of art and everything that it involves can offer. We are somewhat hopeful that we will be able to change perspectives in understanding the art sphere, and with that, fortify the cultural sector and improve society.

IR: A very small pool of jobs are competed over by a large pool of over qualified people. Many practitioners are trapped in roles as interns or volunteers at large institutions, with no prospect of progression to full employment. Almost all artists and arts workers supplement their income with other employment.

IT: Campo15 is a heterogeneous curatorial team especially from the point of view of geographical proveniences. There are contexts in which, compared to others, it’s easier to insert yourself after the course of study. And so it’s not easy to give a clear answer on this issue. Generally there is often a disconnect (intendo scollamento, non trovo traduzione adatta) between the initial perspectives and the real possibilities of employement. Frequently you have to create occasions by yourself – I think, for example, to the autonomous and nonprofit spaces – both for the need to experiment that to overcome the lack of real job opportunities. This situation is not always clear at the beginning of course of study.

GR: There were no real employment prospects, it is and it was very difficult for a curator to make a living from his/her work.  In Greece there are very few curatorial jobs in institutions, as there is also a lack of institutions; curators work under precarious conditions and are badly paid. In general curatorial as well as artistic work is very often considered as a work that doesn’t need to be remunerated, more or less as a “hobby”.  This perception and practice makes it very difficult for freelance curators and other art professionals to sustain themselves and keep working on the field.
There were no real employment prospects, it is and it was very difficult for a curator to make a living from his/her work.  In Greece there are very few curatorial jobs in institutions, as there is also a lack of institutions; curators work under precarious conditions and are badly paid. In general curatorial as well as artistic work is very often considered as a work that doesn’t need to be remunerated, more or less as a “hobby”.  This perception and practice makes it very difficult for freelance curators and other art professionals to sustain themselves and keep working on the field.

SP:First of all, we have to highlight the lack of higher­level graduate curatorial studies focused on the practical. However we find specialization programs through independent study centres. Thus, people who start this activity come from different areas, enriching the prospects resulting from the projects.
Employment prospect is practically zero, highlighting the participation in self­managed projects on a starting point that, in many cases, are collective. Professionalization capacity in this area is limited, so the development of other professional activities in parallel is frequent. At this point, the networking and linkages with other actors is essential. It will encourage the exchange of influences and concerns and will help for the creation of communal projects.
In the Spanish system, it is common to find a first step through the presentation to public open calls for independent curatorial productions, mainly in public art centres and some private foundations.

key
PT : Portugal
IR : Ireland
IT : Italy
GR : Greece
SP : Spain

#1 – #2  – #4 – #5

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