Do art schools really know how to prepare their students for the profession of artist?

Which state to choose? How do Agessa and Urssaf work? How do you steer your ship in the highly competitive world of contemporary art? When ‘in the market’, young art school graduates… are often very disadvantaged.

When Camille Lévêque, 36, a visual artist, speaks to young sprouts from art schools, she doesn’t just come to talk about her work around memory and the heritage of a dual culture. She puts them on the scent of what awaits them. Diagrams, pie charts, PowerPoint. In thirty panels, she outlines the day to day “glamorous” their work schedules: phone calls to Urssaf, project tracking, drafting memorandums of intent, negotiating rates, scanning, archiving, etc. “Students are dumbfounded by the daunting aspect of the days, all this time sitting, connected to the computer, to answer a multitude of emails. » He is especially surprised by the gaps left after five years of studies that have sometimes cost them an arm. “I had several interns and none of them knew how to invoice. However, it is the base! »

The school, the first line of a CV under construction

In the corridors of prestigious schools where the future guard of contemporary art is boiling, it is not uncommon to hear the anguish of the rustling of eggs. The students are not fooled, aware that they are locked in a cocoon, with means to create, to subsist for fellows, vast workshops and equipment available… Before being thrown overnight into the vast world, leafless route or code of conduct. “Schools want us to dedicate ourselves to our artistic practice, but when we go out, the slap can be violent”, confirms Arnaud Arini, who studied at the Villa Arson in Nice. Together with other promising young graduates, he exhibited at the Grande Halle de la Villette for the 100% Festival, and he did not hide behind the scenes of the artist’s life, he learned at his expense. “I turned to Curriculum Chrome, a professionalization support program based in Marseille. For a year I did seminars there that explained the relationship with a gallery owner, the economy of the art market, how copyright works or the social system of artists… Very practical things that make up for what many schools do not do intramurally. . »

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