IFEAC : webinar “Artists but Women. A Sociological Analysis of Gender Inequalities in Contemporary Art in France”

The French Institute for Central Asian Studies (IFEAC) www.ifeac.hypotheses.org is organizing a webinar:

“Artists but Women. A Sociological Analysis of Gender Inequalities in Contemporary Art in France”

Moderator: Xavier Hallez, research fellow at IFEAC

Special guest: Mathilde Provansal, post-doctoral research fellow at IRIS (Institute of Interdisciplinary Research on Social Issues), EHESS (Paris), and associated with CEET (The Employment and Labour Research Centre)

Discussant : Saule Suleimenova, contemporary artist from Kazakhstan saulesuleimenova.com

The webinar will take place on June, 10 at 4 pm (Bishkek) 12 pm (Paris)

Working language: English

Link Zoom to connect : https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82412480973?pwd=NkluV3BnN1FTdGVJSm8wRkJUVndmQT09


Women artists are underrepresented at the highest levels of artistic, symbolic and economic reputation, although they make up the majority of art school students as well as artists. Drawing on sociology of work, gender, art and education, this research explains this paradox. It analyses the making of gender inequalities within a very prestigious French art school and how these affect the entrance into an artistic career, survival in the profession and access to reputation of its graduates in contemporary art. The joint analysis of quantitative data from an artist ranking (ArtFacts), biographical interviews and ethnographic observations sheds light on the gendered construction of artistic careers. Whether it is during the recruitment by the art school, the selection in a studio, student jobs, the invitation to exhibit one’s work or being represented by a gallery, women’s gradual disappearance plays out in co-optation processes. At different stages in the career, the stigma of motherhood restricts their employability and their heterosexualization limits opportunities for self-promotion. Access to the conventions of the contemporary art world and integration into professional networks, particularly in the art market, are sexually differentiated. Nevertheless, different social, economic, educational or institutional resources allow some women to bypass the constraints weighing on women’s artistic careers, and to gain reputation.



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