The traditional forms of art writing we perhaps most readily think of - like the received and established forms of art criticism and art history - are evidently "about" art, which is to say that they are both broadly in the business of producing knowledge of art.
The presentations gathered together today at this event will also be "about" art to some degree, but they will also open up to matters as diverse as the ontologies of theatrical presence and absence; the life of a 17th century Jewish false messiah; the quasi-philosophical question of experience; and the limitations of language in meeting a world beyond the frame of intelligibility. This will necessarily lend today’s proceedings a seemingly arbitrary range of subjects. However what hopefully unites all contributions will be the experimental ways in which our speakers strive to recast the ways in which writing might be considered to be, in a precise way, "about" its subject.
To cite one of our speakers, Kate Love, today’s event might best be characterized as being ‘about about-ness’ in showcasing some differing approaches that artists and writers have adopted in making work "about" something. Our contributors will pose the seemingly simple question of what is it that one might do in the pursuit of knowledge: What types of things should we say, and how should we say them? How might we best orient ourselves towards that which we desire to know? How might we feel, and value what we feel, about an experience beyond the frame of language? And how does the mode of address to a reader, or to an audience, affect the success - or otherwise - of an act of communication? All of these questions are questions of performance: ethical questions of how we might act or conduct ourselves; epistemological questions of how cognition and its limits might feel in our bodies; and relational questions of how we might perform in front of an audience.
|Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed:||Introducing performing/knowing, performance matters, arts writers symposium, whitechapel gallery, events, Kate Love, Speaker, arts writer|