Unreal Nature

October 6, 2014

Who Questions

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:50 am

… persistently asking “who” questions about artists and artworks, commuting biography into art and art into biography — the monograph construes the otherwise distinct works of an artist as a mutating whole …

This is from Art as Existence: The Artist’s Monograph and Its Project (2006) by Gabriele Guercio:

… The aspiration to focus on the state of being singular, consciously or unconsciously, pervades and informs the monographic tradition; the renewed interest in singularity, therefore invites an exploration and reconsideration of that tradition. In fact, monographs did not necessarily take the artist’s identity for granted as a stable substratum to be reconstructed a posteriori. Insofar as they approached the visual arts by means of the interplay between an artist’s life and works, they were almost compelled to unravel the artist’s identity within the incessant doing and undoing of the modes of identification he or she could attract both as a maker of works and as a human being.

… And exhaustion of the grand art historical narratives not only casts doubt on the methodologies that had previously sustained the discipline but also suggests another reason why the monograph and its model are worthy of attention. This exhaustion can be seen as the symptom of a need to reorient the understanding of art from impersonal totalizing views of the artistic phenomena toward a discourse that acknowledges and confronts the discrete nature of works and artists, even their absolute insularity.

… Art as existence is this book’s underlying motif, where “as” indicates equation and confrontation between two polarities as well as mutual displacements, condensations, and transferences. If we take “existence” in its Latin etymon existere — to step forth, out, forward; to arise; to be — then the very act of posing art “as” existence suggests that artistic phenomena be regarded in relation to their making, effecting, and existing. The monograph tends to ascribe to artworks and artists the ability to exist without the assurance of a firm ground. Artworks engender immaterial dynamics within and outside their material boundaries, and artists manifest conditions of being and becoming for the human subject that are inextricable from the creative process.

… The monograph stubbornly tries to account for the immanence of art as existence by approaching artworks and artists in terms of singularity and presence.

… Molded upon the life-and-work dialectic — persistently asking “who” questions about artists and artworks, commuting biography into art and art into biography — the monograph construes the otherwise distinct works of an artist as a mutating whole, ascribing to them the ability either to bear witness to life by offering models for living it or to embody life by uniting objective and subjective components. As such, the monograph interlocks the dimension of the living with that of the nonliving and radically reinterprets the objecthood of artworks through its refusal to look at them as if they were confined within an autonomous realm.

-Julie http://www.unrealnature.com/

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