Pierre Le Hors Comes Back
What have you been doing since graduating from the ICP-Bard MFA program?
After graduation I kept working at Dashwood Books, a store devoted to photography books, where I interned during my second year in the MFA program. I’ve since left to pursue book design jobs, supplementing this income with retouching and archiving work on a freelance basis. At the same time, I’ve maintained a studio practice based partly around collaboration with other artists. I work often with Tuomas Korpijaakko (with whom I shared a studio at ICP-Bard) in producing anonymous publications dealing with various negotiations of public space in New York.
What impact has the experience of going through the ICP program had on you?
While it’s difficult to gauge the full impact of two years of concentrated study, I can say that my work has changed enormously from the time I came in. It has certainly become more diverse materially, more inclusive conceptually, and less averse to risk-taking in general.
More importantly, in the course of my daily life I find myself approaching problems through a kind of thinking that developed during my time at ICP. I often look first to what is being left out, excluded, or unspoken, which always seems to point directly back to the root of our preconceptions in art and life.
Is there anything that has surprised you subsequent to graduation?
Tuomas and I recently had the opportunity to substitute a couple of classes at ICP (in the General Studies and MFA programs), and it was both humbling and gratifying to see that the students were eager to hear from us, share work, discuss ideas, and know what we had been up to since leaving the program. ICP is a small, tight-knit community with global reach, and I hope to continue to stay involved in whatever capacity I can.
What would you say to people contemplating applying to the program?
I think first of all you have to look squarely at the cost of tuition. Like it or not, student loans are a reality for most of us and living with this is a choice that needs to be fully considered. I would encourage prospective students to attend MFA open studios, and to talk to current students, who are likely the most accurate barometer of the program’s strengths and weaknesses.
Lastly, be certain that an MFA is the right choice for you. Unlike other fields of study, in all likelihood a master’s in art will neither validate your work nor make you more attractive to employers. Its real value is harder to quantify—it allows you to redefine your position, as a maker, in the world.