Artistsí Statements: Origins, Intentions, Exegesis
Special Issue of Forum for Modern Language Studies
Extended Deadline: 15 December 2010
For centuries artists have made statements about their work in order to explain and promote it or to construct narratives about its origins and their intentions. The artistís statement is now an integral Ė and taught - component of contemporary practice, and a seemingly incontrovertible primary source for art and cultural historians, literary critics, anthropologists and philosophers. However, artists have written about themselves and their work in many contexts and formats, both public and private, including correspondence, manifestoes and interviews. In some cases, such statements may overshadow, displace, or even constitute, the artwork itself.
Although artistsí statements are often cited or reproduced in anthologies, little attention has been paid to the complex ways in which they either offer or resist biographical or intellectual starting-points and objectives for the work of art; deploy varying and particular rhetorical strategies to create or obfuscate meaning; and suggest or deny exegesis. What motivates artists to establish intellectual or personal histories for their work and how have institutions influenced their form and function? Have artistsí statements helped to maintain a biographical paradigm or can they be used to contest or modify it? How does the artistís statement relate to the question of intention? Should they be treated differently from other types of literary or primary source texts? How have artistsí statements contributed to the complex task of interpreting different kinds of artworks within varying national contexts and disciplinary frameworks?
For this special issue of Forum for Modern Language Studies we are seeking articles that explore the ways in which artists construct their practice through text from an open disciplinary base (encompassing literature and literary criticism, philosophy and aesthetics, art and cultural history, anthropology, sociology and politics), broad chronological parameters, and a wide-ranging set of national and cultural contexts.
Prospective contributors are invited to send a 300-word abstract by email to the Special Issue editors, Natalie Adamson, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Linda Goddard, email@example.com, by 15 December 2010. Articles chosen for further consideration must be submitted in final form by 1 November 2011 for October, 2012, publication. Length should be in the region of 5000 words, including endnotes.
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