April 16, 2012
drawing – an invocation of San Precario
One day in the office, we were chatting about the issues we face as the young and self-employed. I was just back from my trip to Rome and I joked that there should be a patron saint of freelancers… and a single google search later, we had one. San Precario‘s history is appropriately, a short-term one:
Since February 2004 San Precario, patron saint of precarious, casualised, sessional, intermittent, temporary, flexible, project, freelance and fractional workers, has appeared in various Italian cities. The saint appears in public spaces on occasions of rallies, marches, interventions, demonstrations, film festivals, fashion parades, and, being a saint, processions.
San Precario is also transgender, and it has appeared also as a female saint. A “cult” has spread rapidly and has led to the development of a distinct and colorful iconography, hagiography and rituals.
My version of San Precario goes out to all the freelance fashion females out there. May you always be invoicing, may your barista get your name right, may your WIFI be forever free, may your follower count ever increase, may your stilettos support your weight.
Now, I am not a religious person. Because my work is by its very nature, uncertain, I do try to get philosophically comfortable with uncertainty rather than turn to mythology to explain the unknowable. Still, I have found the rhetorical idea of San Precario to be a useful one. Part of pursuing a creative career requires a type of irrational faith that your efforts will be worthwhile, when almost always, there is no actual evidence to indicate that is so. An invocation of San Precario, even in jest, reminds me that I am not alone in a capricious world.