Institutional policies and individual decision-making in artistic migrations: the case of Spanish artists and art mediators in the European Union
Long-established hierarchies of power between territories persist in the so- called global art world. Spanish participants in the art world take advantage of the European free movement regime to internationalise their profiles and improve their chances of global success by migrating to global art hubs like Berlin, Paris or London. Institutional programmes fostering international mobility of European citizens serve a double function. Firstly, they provide a migration channel and advantages to individuals seeking to acquire international experience. Secondly, because of their selective nature, they can function as quality signals for individuals involved in the art world. Thus, institutional mobility programmes can be seen as tools that help manage the uncertainties of both the artistic career and the migration project. Taking Spanish art world participants currently living in European capitals as a case study, this paper presents three empirical types that represent individual profiles emerging from the examined population. These profiles are defined by repeated, lack of or occasional resorting to institutional mobility programmes, as well as to their career orientation and their visions of art and migration. Social characteristics such as gender, social class background and age appear as important factors shaping strategies of career development through migration.