The artist's book: what projects for art?
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The artist's book: what projects for art?

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International meetig
The artist's book: what projects for art?
Organized by the University of Rennes 2 Haute Bretagne
In collaboration with the University of Paris I – Panthéon-Sorbonne
In Rennes, on March 18, 19 and 20, 2010
Under the scientific responsibility of Leszek Brogowski, professor of aesthetics at the University of Rennes 2 Haute Bretagne, and Anne Mœglin-Delcroix, professor of philosophy of art at the University of Paris I – Panthéon-Sorbonne

Colloquium organized as part of the inter-university seminar "Paper in action" ("Arts: practices and poetics" host team [EA 3208], "The work and the image" laboratory, University of Rennes 2 Haute Bretagne and Center for philosophy of art [EA 3562] from the University of Paris I – Panthéon-Sorbonne).

The artist's book is a recent form of creation where the artist uses the medium of the book to produce a work in its own right. Beneath the inoffensive appearance of an ordinary book, often modest, it seeks to intervene in the field of ideas and concepts rather than to exhibit the refinement of its graphic and editorial form. So the artist's book changes not only the approach to artistic practice, but also the way of thinking about art. The choice of the medium of the book as a support for a creation is of very particular interest for the researcher: on the one hand, it invites us to think anew about the relationship between contemporary art and tradition; on the other hand, it implies a critical reflection on the place that art occupies – or could occupy – in the social space. The artist's book makes it possible to reconsider the relationship to tradition insofar as the book, a traditional means of expression among all, is often used by artists who also claim to belong to the dynamics of the avant-garde. artistic guard, identifiable, on the contrary, with his desire to break with traditions. At a time when some deplore the disappearance of "artistic movements", the artist's book makes it possible to become aware of the need to examine the artistic projects inherent in the work of artists, instead of relying on the formalism of labels a priori. Thus it perhaps corresponds to a new period of art where the choice of values ​​is affirmed with greater clarity. The artist's book also makes it possible to reflect on the place of art in society insofar as, by taking the form of an ordinary book, accessible by its circulation as well as by its price, it allows contemporary art to rediscover an anchor in daily life: with it, art takes its place in our libraries and is an integral part of our reading. The artist's book, by proposing a sort of democratic economy of art, thereby offers an alternative to the excesses and delusions of the current art market. The time has come to examine what social perspectives it opens up for art.

The specific project of the symposium “The artist's book: what projects for art? proposes precisely to question the project(s) of art implicit(s) in the choice made by artists, for almost fifty years, to produce all or part of their work in the form of books, magazines, inserts and other prints. It will of course be a question of interpreting books, but also of exploiting the testimonies of actors in the field (artists, historical publishers, librarians, etc.). It will also be a question of analyzing the "path" of artists' books in society: specific methods of access to art through books and reception of art by the spectator who has become a reader, distribution mechanisms, places archiving and preservation, etc.). We will seek to identify the values ​​that determine artists to turn to books at the expense of or alongside more conventional forms of artistic expression (painting, installation, video, etc.), and we will try to identify in these practices a form of social criticism.