Bankrupt Artists lesson n°... 2008 - 2016



                                                                                                                       2016 ©Hervé Véronèse Centre Pompidou 

Contemporary  society  has  increasingly  shifted  the  concept  of  failure  from  being  a  learning 
opportunity to a losing game. I consider this as a fundamental issue of our time, provoked by 
a system that privileges newly made production over transformation. 
Bankrupt  Artists,  lesson  nr°  …   started  in  2007,  motivated  by  the  personal  life  of  my  father 
and inspired by Samuel Beckett’s quote: “To be an artist is to fail, as no other dare fail".
In  2008,  when  I  was  still  a  student,  as  an  intervention  inside  the  ordinary  program  of  the 
school,  I  proposed  my  former  professor  to  hold  a  lecture  about  ‘failed  artists’, as  a  way  to 
think about a possible history of ‘failed artists’ that the official history of art does not take into 
consideration.
The  initial  enthusiasm  of  the  professor  did  not  last  long,  as  he  gradually  became  more 
concerned about the public image of himself and other artists. The start of the project was a 
failure in itself. Considering this first failure as part of the nature of the project, it was not until 
2009  when  Cesare  Pietroiusti  took  on  the  role  of  the  teacher  of  Bankrupt  Artists,  lesson  nr° 
… at  IUAV  University  Venice.  Since  then,  several  lessons  have  been  taking  place  at  Fine  Art 
Academies,  Universities  and  High  Schools  like  Academia  Albertina  Turin,  Liceo  Artistic, 
Genova, NABA in Milan, the Academy of fine Arts in Florence, and in 2016 it was presented for 
the first time inside a museum at Centre Pompidou, Paris. 
The lecture is activated by  one of the member of staff of a University, School, or Art Academy 
or a curator and  aims –  in the long term  –  to  bring  the concept of failure into  the curricula of 
Universities or Fine Art Academies and Museums.




N° 1 Failled