Academic Session 13: Edinburgh 2016

AAH2016 Annual Conference and Bookfair
University of Edinburgh
7 - 9 April 2016

Having Words: Artist–writer relationships


Rachel Smith, University of Cambridge,
James Finch, University of Kent / Tate,

Relationships between artists and writers have long played an integral role in the dissemination and shaping of artistic, literary and critical reputations. This session takes its lead from Derrida’s statement (in The Politics of Friendship) that ‘between talking to them and speaking of them there is a world of difference’, and investigates how relationships between artists and writers (not necessarily art critics) have fostered various kinds of exchange and engagement.

The papers in this session will explore the impact of dialogic conversation, collaborative working and co-appearing by artists and writers from the late 19th century onwards and will use the examples of joint book projects, correspondence, translation, dedications, poetry and portraiture. Papers offer queer and feminist perspectives and consider the antagonism and potential confrontation between artists and writers as sources of productive tension.

It is hoped that the diversity of the papers, combined with their shared basis in strong personal relationships, will lead to points of discussion and debate about how such interactions develop in different circumstances. What are their benefits and limitations, and how have they related over time to wider artistic and literary innovations, distribution networks, and changing sociopolitical contexts? What new forms of knowledge result from these exchanges between the verbal and the visual? What is their relevance to the visual arts and art writing today?

Click here to download a pdf of this session's paper abstracts

Linda Goddard (University of St Andrews) Paul Gauguin as Anti-Critic

Aaron Slodounik (Graduate Center of the City University of New York) Poetry after Painting: Alfred Jarry’s Paul Gauguin

Margaret Schmitz (University of Kent) The Future in Alvin Langdon Coburn & HG Wells’ New York

Cathrin Yarnell (University of Sussex) Illustrating Complicity: Georges Bataille and André Masson in collaboration

Suzanne Singletary (Philadelphia University) Alliteration and Ellipsis: Mallarmé and Whistler - withdrawn

Monika Keska (University of Granada) Poems Underneath your Cast Shadow: Thomas Blackburn and Francis Bacon

Michael Nott (Independent) ‘What Rudy’s Camera takes in the City’: The photopoetic collaborations of Edwin Denby and Rudy Burckhardt

Oona Lochner (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna) Arlene Raven: Collaborative writing as feminist strategy

Laura Edbrook (The Glasgow School of Art and University of Glasgow) A Conversation is Always a Political Thing: Gossip, Companionship and Radical Intimacy in the Means and Production of Art and its Discourses