- Lectorate Art Theory & Practice
- Royal Academy of Art (KABK)
- Prinsessegracht 4
- NL – 2514 AN Den Haag
- +31 (0)70 3154755
The course will familiarise students with diverse ways of writing about art. This is achieved through a series of lectures by experts and through workshops in which students will experiment with different approaches to ‘Writing Art’. There are as many different ways of writing about art as there are authors. However, it is possible to distinguish specific genres and traditions in writing art, such as art history, art criticism, performative writing, art fiction, writing by artists, etc.
|Ed Ruscha, Oh No, 2011 hand-drilled intaglio on fore-edge of book, photo: Paul Ruscha||/1|
Is it possible to bridge the gap between language on the one hand and the visual or auditive experience of an art work on the other? How can a personal experience of art be conveyed to the reader in a convincing and engaging way? What is the status, or the function, of text in relation to the art work, what are the possibilities and the potential limits in writing on art? Is it possible to engage in an art critical, academic or artistic discourse on visual imagery and auditive experience on the basis of text; and if so how does one do that?
The course considers a wide range of writing on art, from historical examples of art historical writing and art criticism to contemporary and experimental modes of writing on art. The aim of the course is to stimulate students to write and to develop a personal ‘voice’.
The course consists of fourteen meetings during the 1st semester on Wednesday evenings from 19.00-21.00 hrs in room PB004.
The set-up of the course is thematic. A guest lecturer who is an expert in the particular field of writing will address each theme in a lecture or presentation. The lecturer will expand on the theme, using examples from writing practices. Preceding the lecture, each lecturer will give students an assignment to write a particular type of text. The texts will be commented on briefly at the end of the lecture. Students will then rewrite the text for the workshop the following week. During the workshop all the texts will be discussed in the group and the lecturer will give in-depth feedback. Short writing exercises are part of the workshops.
The final results will be collected in a portfolio. ECTS credits will be awarded on the basis of the portfolio and on the performance in class.
A writing coach will be present at all lectures and workshops and will co-supervise the students’ writing.
1+2. Writing Art Criticism
How to write art criticism? What is art criticism? How to convey visual experience and engage the reader? Who is your audience?
3+4. Writing Art History
How to approach a subject from (recent) art history? How to compare approaches and opinions, what is academic writing and why is this necessary?
5+6. Artists’ writing
Artists writing on their own work, as critics and/or as researchers.
7+8. Fact and fiction
What is the role of fact and fiction in writing on art? What are facts when dealing with art? How can fiction be applied in writing on art? Are there limitations?
9+10. Writing Music
How to write around music? How to write on something as ephemeral and volatile as music? And how to judge concert reviews?
11+12. Writing as experiment (performative writing, investigative writing, Un-creative writing)
The subject or topic of a text will be explored in and through the writing itself, for example by using ‘constraints’, such as a cadavre exquis.
13. Writing art (workshop)
Final assignment: students choose a personal perspective and approach in writing a text.
What did students learn? Did students develop a personal perspective, or several perspectives, on writing and on art? What is their ambition?
Students hand in their portfolios.
This course is organised in collaboration with the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA) of Leiden University.
For more information about the course see: https://studiegids.leidenuniv.nl/courses/show/52393/writing-art.