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The Cost of Art

The Cost of Art

Art is work. However, this fact is rarely understood as much as it should be. The work that is involved in the performing arts has undergone various transformation that are clearly visible in times of crisis, such as the one that we are currently living through now because of COVID-19. The artistic “vocation” is faced with many barriers and obstacles: the urgency of economic survival, the imperatives of programming, the presuppositions of the competition for funding, the social urgencies (although these can open up a space for reflection, they are also a constraint through their imposition of political agendas and through their definition of what is supposed to happen). We are witnessing the gradual paring down of our artistic structures and of our working conditions, which are marked by precariousness and intermittence. If artistic work is heavily dependent on public policies, then the logic of its enhancement and increased value does not escape its commercialisation.

In this programme, we bring together artists, researchers, programmers and curators, linked to the performing arts, to discuss the relationship between the value of artistic work and the conditions for its realisation.


14 OCT

Workshop at Iscte
The value of art: the premisses of artistic work

Conferência na Culturgest
Pierre-Michel Menger and Izabela Wagner
The work of artists and the logic of (de) professionalisation

15 OCT

Workshop at Iscte
The cost of art: the premisses of organising artistic work

Conferência na Culturgest 
Rui Pina Coelho, Vera Borges, João dos Santos Martins, Luísa Veloso, Joana Marques and Maria João Brilhante
What does art costs and what is its value?

© Vera Marmelo.

14–15 OCT 2020

Booking Opened
Small Auditorium and Live Streaming
  Conferences in live streaming at:
14 OCT at Facebook e Youtube
15 OCT at Facebook e Youtube 

Conference 14 OCT exclusively online.

Conference 15 OCT in live streaming and at Pequeno Auditório. Free entry, with reduced venue capacity.

The ticket can be requested 15 min. prior to the event or booked in advance here.

+ info Culturgest Reopening here

A Arte Custa biografias

Izabela Wagner is a sociologist who has worked in the field of artistic and scientific careers. She is an associate professor at Collegium Civitas in Warsaw (Poland), associate researcher at DynamE (Dynamiques Europeennes) at the University of Strasbourg / CNRS, and at the Institut Convergence Migrations, in Paris. She received her PhD at EHESS, under the supervision of Jean-Michel Chapoulie. She is the author of Producing Excellence: The Making of Virtuosos (2015).

Joana Marques is a sociologist. Her thesis entitled “Workers-artists: work scenes, organization and collective action in Brazil and Portugal” earned her a doctorate degree in Sociology from the University of São Paulo. Her research path has progressed based on studies of different forms of social transformation across three continents, focusing on aspects such as work, culture, education, solidary economy and mobility. She is currently a Marie-Curie Fellow at the A3S association and research-collaborator at CIES-Iscte.


João Santos Martins has organized Nova –Velha Dança in Santarém, since 2017, a cycle which includes stage performances, workshops, talks and exhibitions; has created Para Uma Timeline a Haver, a tool designed to advance the collective history of dance in Portugal, with Ana Bigotte Vieira; has founded Coreia, a newspaper dedicated to arts and artists and their relation with dance; and organized the curriculum study for Forum Dance PACAP 4 programme (2020).


Luísa Veloso is a sociologist. She is a professor of Sociology at ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon and a researcher at CIES-Iscte. She has conducted several research initiatives in the fields of work, professions and education. She collaborates with many institutions, such as the Fundação Serralves and the Cinemateca Portuguesa, in the field of culture and the arts. She is a member of the Observatório Nacional [national observatory] in the European Network of Observatories in the Field of Arts and Cultural Education (ENO).


Maria João Brilhante is a PhD professor in French Literature at the Faculty of Humanities [FLUL – Faculdade de Letras] of the University of Lisbon where she lectured French Literature and Culture since 1979. In the 1990s she started to oversee the Performing Arts degree, and the master’s and doctorate degrees in Theatre Studies, and she began teaching Theatre History in Portugal, Mimesis and Theatre Representation and Iconography. She supervised around twenty master's dissertations and doctoral theses, and she oversees the Master’s and PhD programmes in Theatre Studies at FLUL. She is a researcher at the Centre for Theatre Studies [Centro de Estudos de Teatro], which she headed between 1996-2000, 2004-2008 and again from 2018 to 2019. She lead research projects funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology [FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia], such as OPSIS: Theatre Iconographic Database in Portugal. She co-coordinated the Text and Image project: critical perspectives for research in Performing Arts with UNIRIO (State University of Rio de Janeiro) and USP (University of São Paulo). She chaired the Board of Directors of TNDMaria II between 2008 and 2011, and is a member of the jury of the Prix Europe pour le Théâtre. She is also a member of the Portuguese Association of Theatre Critics, of the Editorial Board of the Sinais de Cena magazine and of the Executive Committee of the EASTAP – European Association for the Study of Theatre and Performance. She sits on the Board of Directors of Casa da Achada – Centro Mário Dionísio. She has published essays and books on literature, theatre translation, theatre iconography and on the history of theatre and performance.


Pierre-Michel Menger is a sociologist with a degree in philosophy and a doctorate in sociology. He is a professor at the Collège de France appointed to the chair of Sociology of Creative Work. At the Collège he delivered the lectures: What is Talent? Aspects of the Social Physics of Difference and Inequality; The Production of Knowledge. Careers and Competitions in Teaching and Research; Labour, its Value and Evaluation. He was director of research at EHESS and oversaw the Centre for Sociology of Work and Arts (EHESS / CNRS). He is the author of many books and articles, such as: The Economics of Creativity. Art and Achievement Under Uncertainty (Cambridge, Harvard University Press); Portrait de l'artiste en travailleur. Métamorphoses du capitalisme (Seuil), published in Portuguese (Roma Editora). Les Intermittents du spectacle. Sociologie d'une exception (EHESS), Profession artiste. Extension du domaine de la création (Textuel), Paradox du musicien (L'Harmattan).


Rui Pina Coelho is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Humanities [FLUL – Faculdade de Letras] of the University of Lisbon. He has a doctorate in Artistic Studies in the field of Theatre Studies from FLUL, he is the director of the Centre for Theatre Studies at FLUL and a researcher on “Critical Discourses in Performing Arts”. He is executive editor of Sinais de Cena – a magazine dedicated to theatre studies and performing arts. As a playwright, he regularly collaborates with TEP – Teatro Experimental do Porto.


Vera Borges is a sociologist. She is a researcher at CIES-Iscte. She has a doctorate in Sociology in the field of Culture from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and the FCSH-UNL; her thesis on the theatre scene in Portugal was written under the supervision of P.-M. Menger. Her research, in the field of work, professions, organizations and artistic markets, focuses on performing arts. She was guest lecturer in the Master’s in Theatre Studies at FLUL on Public Policies for Culture and Management of Performing Arts Projects. She co-authored Mapping culture in Portugal (International Journal of Cultural Policy, 2016) and Emerging patterns of artistic organizations in Portugal (Sociologie del Lavoro, 2020).

BoCA Biennial


With the support

Antena 3


Culturgest, CIES – Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology, Iscte – University Institute of Lisbon


Liliana Coutinho, Vera Borges (CIES – Iscte) e Luísa Veloso (CIES – Iscte)

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