Call for proposals

Issue 122 (spring-summer 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 Unless otherwise indicated, they should comprise original and previously unpublished work.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 art actuel 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, Aseman Sabet, Bernard Schütze and Mathieu Teasdale.

Contributors will receive $65 per 250-word page.


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 January 14, 2019.

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 January 28, 2019.

3. DOSSIER section

For this collection of essays, we would like to have original texts on this subject that cover a minimum of two or three art practices. 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 January 28, 2019.

Dossier: On Destruction
Issue 122 (spring-summer 2019)


Like all handcrafted objects, artworks will disappear sooner or later. Although philosopher Hannah Arendt in her essay The Crises in Culture states that the status of an art object is, above all, very different from that of an everyday object; nevertheless, it is destined to deteriorate if not disintegrate for various reasons. Fortunately, many artworks “kept apart from the processes of consumption and use, and isolated from the necessities of human life” have endured over time and remind us of our cultural past. However, others, belonging to our world cultural heritage, are being vandalized on diverse ideological grounds. Over the last few years, the Islamic State militant group has planned and perpetrated the demolition of archaeological sites, libraries and even sacred places. To these terrorist acts is added the destruction of works that for centuries have been the collateral damage of armed conflicts, but also works that have been subjected to the blunders of inaction and neglect, whether deliberate or not, on the part of certain political leaders. And what about the irreparable damage municipal authorities and others have done to public art works, when they are responsible for protecting them, in Quebec, Canada and elsewhere in the world?

Titled On Destruction, the collection of essays in issue number 122 could very well present all this violence done to past and recent artworks; however, our primary objective is to reflect on the subject of destruction from the viewpoint of contemporary art. Even though, initially, the idea of creating seems to contradict the gesture of destroying and is more in keeping with the sacred nature given to some objects, destruction in art can be positive at times, as art historian Dario Gamboni has proposed.1 With the advent of modernity, the idea of putting the past behind us opens up new perspectives. Modern thought (not only in art) has its foundations in notions of progress, which turns away from the past and in various ways, destroys it in order to make way for what comes next. This is not a matter of reflecting only on the destruction of art caused by outside forces but also and above all of questioning the destruction in art from an artistic point of view. Apart from people deliberately destroying works following a controversy or what some consider a provocation, destruction in art has been a method of exploration indeed even of artistic expression for a long time. Since the avant-garde of the last century, the passion for destroying goes hand in hand with the idea of changing the order of things, of disrupting established artistic codes. From the 1960s and 1970s on, destruction in art also has echoes in a refusal of consumer society’s imposed model thus calling on some artists to conceive of artworks that can auto-destruct. But where are we today?

Although this art of destruction lives on in the 21st century, in this collection of essays we would like to explore other angles. At a time when the accelerating deterioration of the environment has become troubling worldwide, armed conflicts continue in certain parts of the planet and the industry of consumption too often goes together with obsolescence, how the can the aesthetics of destruction respond to this devastation? Following Friedrich Nietzsche’s reflections on destruction as a creative power, surprisingly, it is an economist named Joseph Alois Schumpeter (1883-1950) who would develop the idea of “creative destruction” within the capitalist economy as a process constantly at work, banking on innovation and change at all costs. But then, how do we distinguish the art of destruction from the point of view of art? Is destruction in art not initially a “de-structuring,” a way of making or creating that enables one to have the potential to make something happen? If this is the case, art destroys art, but in destroying the art one creates more art. If not, the destructive act implies the idea of finishing the work, understood here in the sense of completing or terminating it. In brief, as an artistic process and according to each one’s aesthetics, the idea of destruction in art is open to multiple interpretations. But in any case, the art of destruction should not only be a way of saying no but rather another way of activating the desire to create.

1. Dario Gamboni, The Destruction of Art. Iconoclasm and Vandalism since the French Revolution, London, Reaktion Books, 2007.