An assistant is a person (or by extension a device) that helps another person accomplish their goals
This blog is part of a research project and art exhibition at Bearspace entitled the Assistant, it collects together discussion and stories around the idea of artist's assistants and arts internships to build a discourse around the exhibition itself. For more on the exhibition click here. To read the entries collected as part of this project read on or submit your own story here.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Grin and Bear it - An Assistant's Story

An Assistant's story from Christelle

Ever wondered why since October 2009 I haven’t really been where I wanted to be?
Here I am, sitting by the window of a little flat stuck in Brockley: it’s a sunny day, yet the thoughts in my head cloud my soul.

I have a Ba/Hons in my right pocket, and dreams in my left pocket, but then again I wonder: why have I not found a bloody really good job or PAID internship?
Oh, well I AM doing an internship actually, but it’s not paid, oh no never; it’s what’s en vogue, UNPAID LABOUR…It’s as if employers are taking the piss with this recession time and all, there is a masquerade in place I tell you ( but never mind, not now).

So I do a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a little bit of everything, and because I am a perfectionist I do it the best I can , saying to myself: “ Go on Christelle, you know it’s for a brighter future. Get the experience you need, and move on. It doesn’t matter if you get paid or not, your dream is to have your own art gallery, so do your best”; that’s what keeps me going.

The internship is part-time, and I also volunteer on an ad-hoc basis for another organisation; I am investing my time and moral health into two art galleries at the moment. Six odd months ago, I graduated…Six odd months down the line, I see the work I do going into the hands of someone who doesn’t even participate in “travel expenses”; it’s not very fair, is it? Six odd months down the line, I feel the urge to roar and to grunt like a bear. Sitting by the window, is a brown-eyed bear wondering when the salmon will come her way.

I am a writer, amateur photograph, project assistant, events assistant, marketing assistant, gallery assistant and a bear: I am an intern.

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