The Artist’s Novel
A New Medium (part 1)
The Fantasy of the Novel (part 2)
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. 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.
Part 2, The Fantasy of the Novel, is a research project in the form of a novel; it examines the process of creating an artist’s novel derived from five episodic performances and an exhibition. The creative process was affected by the circumstances of production, including intersubjective relationships usually invisible to audiences. The protagonist assumes the role of a detective who tries to understand the conditions under which an artist decides to write, and how this writing is possible within an artistic setting.