Art Students Sell Themselves on eBay

ebay listing of one of the HEART studentsPhoto: Screenshot from eBay
ebay listing of one of the HEART students
Photo: Screenshot from eBay

Through the 18th of December, online shoppers have the chance to buy the most unusual of offerings: a group of students from the French art school Haute École d’Art de Perpignan (HEART). The fledgling artists have put themselves up for sale via eBay and Le Boin Coin as a symbolic act to protest against the impending closure of their art school.

“It’s a way to put the spotlight on us,” Pierre Akrich, a student from the doomed art school, told Le Figaro. “Everyone believes that the school is already closed, so this is a way of saying we’re still alive.”

“Anais Perez, second year student from HEART, 22. Personal delivery only,” reads one of the unsettling listings, showing an image of a young woman smiling shyly to the camera, with a starting price of €2,980.

The aim of the daring collective bid is to foster awareness, support, and funds for the troubled art school whose closure is slated for 2016. An online petition challenging the local government and French Ministry of Culture and Communication’s decision to close the school has also been launched, with 472 signatures registered at the time of writing.

The local government claims that maintaining the art school is too costly, given its modest size. It already attempted to close the school in 2006. The strong mobilization of both students and teachers, however, managed to overturn the decision back then.


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