Call for proposals

Issue 121 (winter 2019)

General informations:

Submissions must be sent in Word or RTF format to info [@] espaceartactuel [.] com. Unless otherwise indicated, they should comprise original and previously unpublished work. Writers are asked to include a brief biography (70-80 words for reviews, 80-100 words for other sections) and their mailing and email addresses.

The editorial committee reviews all submissions and reserves the right to accept or refuse any articles. Texts that present a potential conflict of interest between the author and subject will not be considered.

Submissions are evaluated on the following criteria: relevance to the mandate of ESPACE magazine, clarity of expression, quality of analysis and originality.

The editorial committee is overseen by the magazine’s editor-in-chief and consists of Mélanie Boucher, Peter Dubé, Bénédicte Ramade and Bernard Schütze.

Contributors will receive $65 per 250-word page.

1. EXHIBITION REVIEWS section

Exhibition reviews should be no more than 1000 words, including endnotes. Authors must choose a recent solo or group exhibition held in Quebec, Canada or abroad.

Submission deadline: the deadline for Reviews is September 5, 2018.

2. INTERVIEWS or EVENTS sections

Please send an email to the direction of the magazine if you are interested in writing for either of these sections. Articles must be between 1500 and 2000 words, including endnotes.

Submission deadline: the deadline for Interviews and Events is September 5, 2018.

3. DOSSIER section

If you would like to submit a text, we first invite you to email the editor of the magazine André-Louis Paré at alpare [@] espaceartactuel [.] com to present a summary of your project. We will inform you promptly if your proposal is accepted. Your completed text should not exceed 2000 words, footnotes included. As well as an honorarium of $65 per page (250 words), we will send you a free one-year subscription to the magazine.

Deadline: Reception date of the final version of the text is September 5, 2018.

Dossier : Animal Point of View
Issue 121 (winter 2019)

In recent years, animal studies have made spectacular advances in the aesthetic and artistic fields. Though this interest in animality is age-old, it is currently undergoing far reaching transformations. If it has become almost commonplace to see artists mimic and appropriate animal characteristics, if there have been literary attempt to invent an animal language (Tristan Garcia, Marie Darrieussecq), if taxidermy is back on its feet with the Anthropocene era and its corollary genetic mutations and mass extinctions, then what is one to make of an art viewed from an animal point of view ?

Over the last few years, the French historians Eric Baratay and Pierre Serna have dedicated themselves to writing the history of humans from an animal point of view. In studying animals’ conditions under various historical regimes they have gone against the grain of scientific source neutrality. Fifteen years ago, the American philosopher Donna Haraway published The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness (2003), which fused the systems of thought and respective animalities of humans and dogs. Moreover, ethics is never far away in a broader reflection on the recognition and defense of animals’ sentience and their evermore complex personalities, as revealed by advances in ethology. The focal point here is not so much about becoming animal or of turning the animal into a ventriloquist of humanity, according to what is in fact a classical concept (Giovanni Aloi, 2008), but rather about very recent practices based on relations of exchange or complete reversal. In 2017 a London group led by Davide Harradine gave a musical performance intended solely for the animals of a Peckham farm (sheep, goats and pigs), in an event that also recalls Laurie Anderson’s low frequency concert for dogs (Concert for dogs, 2010), which was supposedly inaudible for their masters. And what is one to make of art created by animals and of a feline aesthetic theory (Burton Silver & Heather Busch)? How is one to consider these matters in light of a revised conception of aesthetic values. While the “selfie-taking” monkey Naruto’s right to the image is still being debated in court with the photographer David Silver, artists are increasingly working in a horizontal collaboration with animals. Not with the aim of arrogating or transferring physical or spiritual animal qualities towards the human, as is the case with the duo Art orienté Objet or Carlee Fernandez, but rather in a mutual enrichment in which an inversion of prerogatives and controls opens the perspective of a non-human entertainment. What do such relationships presume?

In a perspective that is at once a letting go of the human and an animalization of humanity, we welcome contributions that reflect on this new relational state, which has less to do with guilt or ethical redemption than with the desire to build new viewpoints guided not so much by the idea of a revised anthropocentric imperialism than by the wish to abolish boundaries via theories of indistinction and, in particular, situated knowledge. We would like to learn about artistic practices that renew questions pertaining to the living and animals and which engage in a critical analysis of speciesism in an interspecificity perspective.

While the perspective of animal ethics offers very stimulating outlooks, it is important not lose sight of the aesthetic component which is often neglected due to the predominantly ethicist approach to the subject. The animal point of view can thus be envisioned in terms of an historical narrative, such as the one exemplified by the eco-feminist Val Plumwood who, in 1985, became flesh and prey in an Australian crocodile’s jaws, an experience that radically altered her perception of animals. As the philosopher Vinciane Despret wrote in Penser comme un rat (2009), one should “think with a rat” according to destabilizing perspectives that completely renew our standards of humanity and animality. It is this “decentred history” that this issue’s thematic section titled “Animal Point of View” seeks to foreground.