The first of a two-volume publication dedicated to the artist's novel,
this theoretical essay aims to elucidate the pressing questions posed by
the emergence of this new artistic medium with a number of key case
studies and interviews.
Why do artists write novels? What impact does the artist's novel have on
the visual arts? How should such a novel be experienced? In recent years,
there has been a proliferation of visual artists who create novels as part
of their broader art practice. They do so in order to address artistic
issues by means of novelistic devices, favoring a sort of art predicated
on process and subjectivity, introducing notions such as fiction,
narrative, and imagination. In this sense, it is possible to see the novel
as a new medium in the visual arts; yet very little is known about it.
This two-volume publication is the first to explore in depth the subject
of the artist's novel.
Part 1, A New Medium, is a theoretical examination that looks
critically at the different ways contemporary artists employ the artist's
novel, focusing mainly on four key case studies: Benjamin
Seror's Mime Radio, Cally
Spooner's Collapsing in Parts, Mai-Thu
Perret's The Crystal Frontier, and Goldin+Senneby's
Headless. It seeks to situate
the artist's novel within the broader context of the visual arts in the
hopes of sparking a much-needed discussion about a practice
that has long been ignored by critical strands in art discourse. It
includes valuable resources, such as the only existing bibliography of
David Maroto (born 1976, lives and works in Rotterdam) is a Spanish visual artist, researcher, writer, and curator. He is the co-curator of The Book Lovers, a research project on the artist's novel, together with Joanna Zielińska.