top of page

HOW ARE ARTISTS CHOSEN? Exclusivity, precarious work and asymmetries in Art Competitions. 


Volume 3

by Wages For Wages Against
Contributions by Stirnimann-Stojanovic & Amandine Gay 


In 2022, the collective Wages for Wages Against applied for the Swiss Art Awards with the ambition of questioning the very model of the prize and its impact on artists. Art competitions are presented as real opportunities for artists, and arise throughout their careers, starting with school—entrance selection procedure, juried evaluations, diplomas and honors distinctions—, all the way to professional recognition—Meret Oppenheim Prize, Marcel Duchamp Prize, Turner Prize, etc. Only a handful of artists are selected for merit-based reward. However, this logic of sorting and validation upholds an entire system that reproduces inequalities and that perpetuates precarity in a milieu that is exclusive, and thus excludes. The institutional practices of communication and selection, as well as the validation of unpaid labor, favor certain artists at the expense of others. In this context, we surveyed the artists who participated, are considering participating, or are not participating in the Swiss Art Awards competition, in the interest of understanding their experiences and sharing their demands. In a broader sense, we wish to rethink the founding principles of artists’ support policies and work to build a less competitive art world.


Research, writing and edition by Tiphanie Blanc & Ramaya Tegegne (Wages For Wages Against)
Published by L’Amazone & Privilege
Graphic design by Marouchka Payen with Clara Sambot
ISBN: 978-2-9603246-2-4

With the support of République et canton de Genève


10,00 €Prix
  • Founded in 2017, Wages For Wages Against is a collective and campaign acting for the fair remuneration of artists in Switzerland, better work conditions, and an alternative economy of the arts, actively fighting all forms of discrimination through public debate and collective action. As artists, art workers and members of the collective WFWA, we investigated how artists are selected in art competitions. Here, we pursue a general reflection on competition as a genuinely democratic tool for supporting artists and the art scene. 


Page d'articles: Stores_Product_Widget
bottom of page