Day of the Young Artist 2019
Day of the Young Artist 2019, Image by Michaela Davidova
Day of the Young Artist
It was drizzling outside. Even though the grey weather was persuading to staying in bed, we gathered in front of De Pont Museum. Still a little bit sleepy but excited to find out what the art professionals advice to emerging artists.
This year was the 5th edition of the Day of the Young Artist. The event is organised by KunstpodiumT in collaboration with De Pont Museum and it offers talks, and workshops about contemporary artistic practices. The curator, Tim Roerig, who is an associate curator at Z33, House for Contemporary Art in Hasselt, in Belgium, curated the day in connection to the theme of Leaving the Studio.
As we become more grounded and confident in our artistic direction, to become a professional artist also means to engage with the outside world. In the recent fast-paced age, the artists have to find the way how to present themselves and stay mobile and flexible. However, with all that eager to know everything, success rarely happens over the night. The director of De Pont Museum, Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen, introduced the event with the words: ‘’the real challenge is in the long run’’. Things will eventually start moving if the artist keeps on the continuity, perseverance and belief.
The day offered the panel discussions focused on the three circuits: Residencies, Markets and Networks and was filled up with the portfolio or photography workshops. Participants listened to the advice of how to best present themselves in the online or offline world. Although we could favour different approaches of curators or gallerists, they are all summarizing the fact that artists must always stay true to their own beliefs and inner-self. As Oscar Wilde once wrote: ‘’Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.’’ The image will crystallize and come to the surface. However, establishing what we like is sometimes more difficult than knowing what we are against.
Promise of Professionalization
The interesting view on what it means to be a professional artist nowadays came during the performance lecture The Investment Portfolio introduced by the artist researcher Brenda Tempelaar. Her calm voice was leading us through the different perspectives on an essay written by Anton Vidokle ‘Art without Market, Art without Education, Political Economy of Art’. On a big screen, we saw professionally taken shots of the artist’s MA diploma. Vidokle states in his text that ‘’these days it’s becoming more and more difficult to imagine the production of significant art without a training system that educates future producers of art, its administrators and, to some extent, its consumers.’’. Although, it was not always that way, today the object – the art school diploma – establishes the standard and the means to an artist’s professionalisation. Tempelaar contemplates that the proper education became a promise which is investable and knowing, how to go through the system, is often a more important asset than the art we make.
The art world has different rules and we must keep up with our roles. That grey Monday we, the emerging and the established art professionals, came to the Day of the Young artist to learn and to share how to play our part of the game. I suppose, also, for this reason, the events like the Day of the Young Artist exist.