December 19, 2017

MaHKUscript Journal of Fine Art Research issue 3: “Reclaiming Artistic Research—First Thoughts”

MaHKU, Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design

Yael Davids, Learning to imitate in Absentia, 2011. Performance, Kunsthalle Basel. Photo: Eva Flury. Courtesy the artist and Kunsthalle Basel.

The third edition of MaHKUscript, “Reclaiming Artistic Research—First Thoughts”, seeks to re-create space for artists to lead and shape conceptions of artistic research and its place in art. It proposes the need to reclaim artistic research in response to a strange paradox; namely the increasing centrality of artistic research within art practice on the one hand, and artists’ widespread lack of identification with artistic research discourse on the other.

Guest editor Lucy Cotter exposes this gap and questions the relative isolation of (academic-led) artistic research discourse—initially developed to support the establishment of the PhD in Fine Art in the University system—from the leading concerns, interests and sensibilities of artists and the art world. This edition teases out the current relevance of artistic research to artists and to art discourse, foregrounding the specificity and singularity of artistic thinking.

Acknowledging art’s increasingly dynamic engagement with subject areas associated with other disciplinary fields, which partly underscores the currency of artistic research, "Reclaiming Artistic Research—First Thoughts" highlights the fact that artists are typically motivated by the question of how to approach their subjects of interest, producing results that question the terms of their associated discourses, rather than providing supplemetary knowledge. Artists are seen to think these areas of research through form, with the ideas and (im)material manifestation of their work developing and existing both simultaneously and inseparably. Following artists’ desires to hold open space to think differently, this journal edition redirects attention to the unthinkable, the necessarily contingent, and to that which confounds translation into academic terms. Presenting a series of six dialogues with artists, together with a further six artistic contributions, which manifest artistic research in various states of (material) existence, this issue holds open the irresolvable tension between that which can be easily accommodated as discursive, and that which insists on inhabiting a different space than linear thought.

Contributors: Tania Pérez Córdova; Yael Davids; Sher Doruff; Ryan Gander; Dora Garcia; Liam Gillick; Euridice Kala; Grada Kilomba; Yuri Pattison; Falke Pisano; Arin Rungjang; and Samson Young. Designed by Tomas Celizna.

The journal edition offers a sneak preview of the book publication, Reclaiming Artistic Research, edited by Lucy Cotter, which is forthcoming in early 2018 in a Spanish-language edition published by 17, Institute for Critical Studies, Mexico City, to be followed by an English-language publication, published in collaboration with MaHKUscript, among other partners. The forthcoming book will present contributions by, and dialogues with over 25 established artists and curators, forming an extensive enquiry into the self-initiated, rigorous and consciously contingent nature of artistic research, its artistic genealogies and its relationship to wider social, economic and cultural transformations.

Lucy Cotter is an independent writer and curator. Currently authoring a further book entitled Art Knowledge: Between the Known and the Unknown, she was curator of the Dutch pavilion of the 57th Venice Biennale 2017, presenting Cinema Olanda with artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh.

Editor-in-chief: Henk Slager
Editorial Office: Jessica de Schipper, [email protected]

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