Art(s) & Space(s) - Special issue of Belgeo journal
This special issue of Belgeo is dedicated to the relations between art and space. The call is aimed at social scientists interested in the spatial dimensions of artistic phenomena.
The recent development of contemporary art has lead artists to pay more attention to the spatial dimension of their works, that can be studied from a geographical point of view. However, to consider artistic actors and events in a wider sense remains an appreciably different approach that will be singled out in this issue.
We suggest three main directions for articles: the first one aims to collect epistemological reflections concerning the development of a geography of art(s), to understand its specificities and contributions. The other two consider artistic spatialities with two complementary approaches, related to the localisation and the spatial dynamics of individuals and artistic phenomena.
1) Art as a Research Object for Geography
Firstly, we suggest considering the scientific context of an emerging interest in art, its actors and events in the geographical field. These research objects bring new knowledge in a thematic field that has not been much developed by geographers so far, but also show a wider interest in the economy of signs where art plays an exemplary role.
Secondly, it could be interesting to question the particularity of such objects in the analysis of spaces. Are they taking part in a renewal of geographical perspectives (in terms of sources, methods or mapping), in particular due to interdisciplinary reflections? In what way does the spatial approach bring new elements to the field of “art studies”?
2) Art(s) in Spaces
The second direction is dedicated to the spatial organisation of art, focusing on the one hand on specialisation and on the other hand on hierarchisation.
Locating individuals and activities firstly calls for a consideration of the specialisation of artistic spaces. Do different artistic forms need distinct production and diffusion spaces? If some artistic practices are going beyond disciplinary boundaries, do some spaces favour artistic hybridisation? It will also be considered how far artistic practices and places can transform (socially, symbolically, materially etc.) the spaces they are involved in.
Localisation is otherwise closely related to the relative positions of artistic actors and spaces in the art worlds as well as regarding other spaces. What kind of spatial hierarchies can be observed in the art fields? The hierarchisation processes should be questioned inside of the artistic scenes: which indicators can be used to reveal those processes? How are artistic centers and peripheries defining themselves at different scales? It also seems relevant to consider how the spatial dynamics of arts reinforce or on the contrary subvert pre-established spatial hierarchies: does biennalisation permit the emergence of new economic poles at a global scale? Does the instrumentalisation of the arts in social urban movements or in public policies lead to the redefinition of urban polarities? Etc.
3) Artistic Mobilities
A last direction deals with artistic mobilities. If individual artistic circulations are often taken into account in monographies, mobility of artworks, individuals, institutions or ideas offer an original point of view to analyse the structuration of spaces at a local, national or global scale.
How do we characterize these mobilities? How can we represent them? Do artistic circulations and exchanges reinforce or on the contrary subvert spatial hierarchies? These questions invite a discussion on the diversity of artistic mobilities (seasonal, more or less institutionalised etc.), the actors and objects that they involve and the networking they encourage.
Relations between art and spaces are most frequently studied in relation to artistic activities and contemporary urban dynamics. However, other perspectives can also be taken to nourish the three directions suggested. It seems relevant to enlarge the way of thinking about art(s) spaces, diversifying both spatial scales and research fields (urban, rural, East, West, Global North, Global South, transnational etc.). This issue also considers all artistic disciplines (visual arts, performing arts, urban arts, music, literature etc.) in their different dimensions (institutional, hybrid or underground practices, creation, formation, diffusion etc.). Furthermore, this issue wants to be open to diachronic analyses that consider the historical dimension of artistic spatialities.
This call for papers is aimed at researchers of different fields interested in the spatial dimensions of artistic phenomena. Proposals that fit one of the three outlined directions are welcome, as are other proposals that take a complementary focus.
Expressions of interest should be sent with a short summary (one page) indicating the issue and the outline of the article and with a short presentation of the author(s) before November 30, 2013 to the editors:
Camille Boichot (camille.boichot[at]gmail[dot]com)
Tatiana Debroux (tdebroux[at]ulb[dot]ac[dot]be)
Boris Grésillon (boris.gresillon[at]free[dot]fr)
After acceptance, articles should be submitted by the end of April 2014, with a publication planned for autumn 2014.
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