PIIGS Interview #5

Do you think PIIGS can fly? (ironical reference)

PT: The crisis that erupted in 2008, gave the neoliberal agenda a perfect excuse for its application. By the claim of “no other way”, the PIIGS countries were forced to implement large austerity measures and labour reforms, which disregard even the most fundamental EU tenets. Suddenly there were found pigs among us, and there is a fundamental logic behind this “warm” nickname. Continue reading “PIIGS Interview #5”

PIIGS Interview #4

As far as art is concerned, is it possible to defined it as the last critical space in neoliberalism reality? Can art free itself from the rules of the dominant market? Or if not, how can art deal with both the dominant economic rationality and develop an analytical approach to it?

PT: The modern economic system of art, which can be dated to the late XIX century, erupted in Paris somewhat by the instauration of the first art galleries. This galleries were envisioned to support the distribution and spreading of impressionist and post-impressionist artworks, thus representing a rebelliousness against the highly restricted art exhibited at the Salons, still clinging to the canons of the French Academie. At this point in history, approaching the spectators, by the means of another market segment, opened the possibilities of public choice and support of other artistic aspirations by the means of consumption, allowing the public to endorse another alternative order for art appreciation and validation. Continue reading “PIIGS Interview #4”

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. Continue reading “PIIGS Interview #3”

PIIGS Interview #2

2- Do you think that quality in art and curatorial projects may only be achieved in main art centers? Artist, curators, gallerists, and other “art workers” use to migrate permanently or temporarily into art centers, places in which they can see great exhibitions, attend fashionable events and meet the “right” people. Is living in peripheral areas actually an hindrance to the development of curatorial and artistic projects?

PT: It is not our conviction that high quality art can only be achieved at main art centres. Although, considering capitalism as our economy system these places achieve a greater relevance, due to its better offer in practical conditions and therefore public attention and funding, when compared to other art exhibit locations in peripheral areas. This fact can be observed, mainly, around the strong economic countries. This can be justified probably because on these countries there is a greater support of the arts, either public or private, hence creating greater possibilities to transpose “barriers”, that without it, one probably couldn’t. Continue reading “PIIGS Interview #2”

PIIGS Interview #1

A short interview: five questions, five answers to each question. One question each article, with five answers: a first real discussion.

Is there a common ground between all the PIIGS Countries? If Yes how would you describe it?

PT: The main reason why the PIIGS countries were grouped together is the substantial instability of their economies, which was an evident problem in 2009. All had experienced a severe economic downturn, budgetary and debt crisis, and intervention by international institutions.The five countries present high levels of unemployment and a very high proportion of those who are unemployed are long-term, indicating that the problem is becoming structural.They show increases in income poverty, with childhood poverty a particular problem in each and showing an increase in all countries since 2007.
All of the ‘PIIGS’ experienced increased emigration with the crisis. In all these countries social risks are increasing, social systems are being tested and individuals and families are under stress.Once the size of the PIIGS’ debt has become clear, investors are getting more and more reluctant to buy bonds from European countries, since many of those countries are heavily in debt — and the ones that aren’t in debt look like they might have to assume responsibility for the ones that are.

Continue reading “PIIGS Interview #1”