Creators in the get-rich economy: An ‘In Conversation’ with Arnaud Esquerre, Prof Sarah Wilson and Harry Woodlock

Over the last decade capitalism in the West has undergone a fundamental  transformation. How has it changed and what effect has this had on young artists  living and working today? Enrichment: A Critique of Commodities is a major new account of modern capitalism, co-authored by Luc Boltanski and Arnaud Esquerre, that examines the ways in which value and wealth are created and the new forms of exploitation that have given rise to what they call the ‘enrichment economy’.

With a focus on ‘Creators in the enrichment economy’, this conversation with co-author Arnaud Esquerre will examine the ways in which young artists must adapt in order to survive in this new iteration of capitalism. The event will explore key issues such as competition and exploitation, the agencies and persons responsible for it, and how critique might be formulated, and collective arrangements made, so as to limit its damaging effects on artists and the arts.

This event will be of great value for anybody interested in the social and economic transformations shaping our world today and will coincide with the launch of Vital Exhaustion: Late Capitalism and the Crisis of Pain, a new online initiative, co-edited by Professor Sarah Wilson and Harry Woodlock, which seeks to examine the social, economic and political origins of the ‘mental health crisis’ through the lens of contemporary visual culture.


Arnaud Esquerre – Director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Social Issues, Paris. Researcher, Centre National de la Recherché Scientifique

Organised by:

Professor Sarah Wilson – Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Courtauld and Harry Woodlock – Independent Curator and Editor