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 artists' novels.
Interviews with Benjamin Seror, Cally Spooner, Mai-Thu Perret, Goldin+Senneby, Francis McKee, Vivian Ziherl, Natasha Soobramanien, Clive Phillpot, Alex Cecchetti, Łukasz Gorczyca, Jan Jasiński.