The artistic mission: dismantling professionalism in a for-profit economy?

facilitated by Diego Agulló
June 1 - 29

This workshop attempts to analyse how professionalism in the arts functions and what are the ideologies and values systems embedded on it. We will enroll in an collective investigation on what is the role of art in the given economy, looking from the ethical perspective of which value systems guide the aspirations and motivations of artists to reach the standards of professional success. The artist mission could be understood as affecting professionalism from within and to create a space where belonging together is not based on individual achievements but rather on a collective playground for mutual affections and common commitments.

In the last decades we have gone through a process of hyper-professionalization in the arts. The consequences are several: competitiveness rules the social interaction, the artist becoming passive obedient agents submitting to the evaluation of professional control system and public critical approval and surrendering to the judgement of authority of the mediators. Hence, professionalism has become the ultimate criteria to validate/legitimize an artist, hi-jacking the public space into a space for publicity, individual achievement, career ladder, profit seeking...

Is “professional artist” an oxymoron? In that case, what is exactly the tension produced by artist entering professionalism? How can one benefit from the tension of this contradiction? Can this tension constitute a playground/battlefield for artists to operate and produce work? How can an artwork dismantle the positions of privilege installed and perpetuated by professionalism? How to reformulate the political body as the main tool for social transformation?

In this light, the workshop will provide the participants with a frame to problematize together the way they access the professional structure, addressed to anybody who would like to commit to work together in a mutual practice of self-examination on what is the purpose of making art, which value system operate behind their professional practices, and what are the tactics and strategies to infiltrate to and affect the professional structure from within.

The methodology is based on a set of exercises organized by a common practice of continuous reformulation of what we will have done on the previous day. The body will play an important role becoming a battlefield of our research. No physical background is required. The purpose is to understand the constitution of the political body as the fundamental matter of social transformation within the realm of our everyday life actions. At the end of the workshop we will host an event in order to open our practice to a public. The Waiting www.waitingroom.com

You can find in the following link some theoretical references and the documentation of the previous workshop from August 2015:


About the facilitator
Diego Agulló was born in Madrid in 1980 where he studied philosophy. In 2005 he moved to Berlin where he started working as a freelance video artist and performer. Two years later he had a fortuitous and inevitable encounter with choreography that lasts until today, having developed an interdisciplinary body of work that passes through different forms such as dance, performance art, participatory events, lectures, texts, films, photography, and workshops. Diego’s current research deals with the intersection between pedagogy and art, creating contexts for learning and practicing theory across art and philosophy. Diego is working on an essay on dilettantism called The Mischievous Mission, in order to problematize the notion of professionalism in arts. The first chapter of this text has been recently released as a limited edition hand book called: Dangerous Dances.

Documentation of The Waiting Room AFFECT Edition - 48 Stunden Neukölln

A participatory performance presented on June 25. 2016 from 14:00 to 19:00
Agora Rollberg, Am Sudhaus 2, 12053 Berlin
Choreographed and assembled by Diego Agulló with artists from “THE ARTISTIC MISSION”:

| Jessie Alice (AU)

| Saem Lee (KR)

| Remina Greenfield (US)

| Monika Karczmarczyk (PL)

| Magdalena Rua Golba (PL)

| Charles Czarnecki (US)

| Madeleine White (AU)

| Amina Muniz (BR)

| Dorottya Magyar (HU)

| Kiana Rezvani (IR)

*With contributions by guest artists: Pepe Dayaw, Maracuja Records and Julia B. Laperrière.

**Special thanks to Waiting Room Administrative Staff: Lauren Grant, Maria Raddatz, Paz Ponce and Anita

THE WAITING ROOM is the second public exhibition unveiling the new space of Agora Rollberg and affecting its surroundings, presented as part of 48 Stunden Neukölln (Das Kunstfestival). #48hnk

A waiting room, tables, chairs, reception. Forms, applications, questionnaires. You take a place, waiting for your turn. Your name is called and you are led to a different space. Behind the door is your interview partner. It may be an interviewer, your best friend, a trader, a dancer, an actor, maybe even yourself – you never know what to expect.

The Waiting Room opens space for encounters between strangers and it plays with the social rules of curiosity and interest, everyday behavior and communication. You always come back to where you started: the waiting room, which itself becomes the space for mixing up the impressions and suspending the patterns.

The Waiting Room was initiated by Diego Agulló, Dimitry Paranyushkin, Peter Stamer, Clement Layes.

Visit the Project website:


Facebook Invitation: www.facebook.com/events/1737349309876407/

*Photo credits by Joana Dias.