Intermezzo II:
Interview with Czech Artist Jirka Skála

Intermezzo II: Interview with Czech Artist Ji
rka Skála, 2021, Inquiring Into Academic Timescapes, ed. Filip Vostal, Emerald Publishing, London, photo: author’s archive

Filip Vostal: As an artist and an academic – what kind of experience do you have with precarisation of work?

Jirka Skála: I have quite a lot of experience with it, because more than two-thirds of what I do as an artist or as an assistant professor at the university, I do for free. I get the feeling that I am obliged to do certain things, even though I know I won’t be paid for it. I have experienced precarisation in my professional position(s) indeed, but also as a self-employed person. It is for this reason, I devote my artistic work to the topic of precareity – I live it.

FV: And this experience of yours – doing a lot of things for free – , is that something you register it around you, too? Meaning – do your colleagues, faculty, artists experience it?

JS: Well, I’ll focus on my university first. I think that this is definitely something a segment of my colleagues do experience, it is not just me. As a result, a trade union has recently been formed at the uni. I don’t want to go into too much detail because I think our university is a relatively small – it has about 100 employees and 340 students, which is quite a common ratio at universities of this kind, so when the union got formed last year, around 20 employees joined the unions in the first two months. […]

You can find the full interview in collestion of essays Inquiring Into Acadeic Timescapes. This book is available for purchase at the Emerald Publishing bookstore.