Call for papers

GENERAL INFORMATION

Submissions must be sent in Word format (Times New Roman, 12 pts, 1.5 line spacing) to info [@] espaceartactuel [.] com. Unless otherwise indicated, they should be original and previously unpublished work. Please include a brief biography of the writer (70-80 words for reviews, 80-100 words for other sections), as well as 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, overseen by the Editor-in-chief André-Louis Paré, consists of Mélanie Boucher, Peter Dubé, Bénédicte Ramade, Aseman Sabet, Bernard Schütze and Mathieu Teasdale.

The magazine will pay $65 per 250-word page (excluding footnotes), up to a maximum of $260 for exhibition reviews and $520 for texts in other sections.

1. EXHIBITION REVIEWS section

a) An exhibition review will have 800 to 1000 words, and will address a solo or group exhibition in Quebec, Canada or abroad.
b) Apart from exceptional cases, the exhibition reviewed should not have ended more than four months prior to the release of the issue in which the review will be published.
c) The title of the review should be limited to the title of the exhibition, and include the artist’s name if it is a solo exhibition.
d) The header should also include the venue and dates of the exhibition.
e) Intertitles should be avoided and footnotes should be kept to a minimum, if at all.
f) Images, with full captions, to accompany the text are welcome but not mandatory.
g) A proposal should be sent by e-mail to alpare [@] espaceartactuel [.] com as soon as possible before the deadline. The editor-in-chief’s preliminary approval of this proposal does not mean that the submission of the completed text is accepted. The editorial committee must still review the final text for acceptance or rejection.
➜ The next deadline for exhibition reviews is January 18, 2021 (for issue no. 128) or April 25, 2021 (for issue no. 129).

2. EVENTS section

a) The texts in the Events section are reviews of large-scale exhibitions, particularly biennales or other artistic events involving several venues.
b) A review in the Events section will be 1500 to 2000 words.
c) Apart from exceptional cases, the event reviewed should not have ended more than four months prior to the release of the issue in which the review will be published.
d) The title should include the name of the event, but not necessarily limited to it.
e) The header should also include the venues and dates of the event.
f) Headings and footnotes are welcome but not mandatory.
g) Images, with full captions, to accompany the final text are welcome but not mandatory.
h) A proposal should be sent by e-mail to alpare [@] espaceartactuel [.] com as soon as possible before the deadline. The editor-in-chief’s preliminary approval of this proposal does not mean that the submission of the completed text is accepted. The editorial committee must still review the final text for acceptance or rejection.
➜ The next deadline for the Events section is January 18, 2021 (for issue no. 128) or April 25, 2021 (for issue no. 129).

3. FEATURE section

a) For the Feature section, we would like original texts of 1500 to 2000 words (including footnotes) on the theme addressed, along with relevant case studies.
b) Headings are welcome for clarity, but not mandatory
c) Footnotes are welcome, but should not exceed 20.
d) The text will not include a bibliography.
e) Images, with full captions, to accompany the final text are welcome but not mandatory.
f) The author is invited to send us, as soon as possible (November 15, 2020), a proposal by email to alpare [@] espaceartactuel [.] com before the final submission of his or her text. The preliminary acceptance of this proposal by the editor-in-chief does not, however, prevent the submission of the completed text to the editorial committee for final validation or rejection.
➜ The next deadline for the Feature section is January 18, 2021 (for issue no. 128) or April 25, 2021 (for issue no. 129).

No. 128 (Spring-Summer 2021)
FEATURE: CLIMATOLOGY

Climatology is a rather recent science. Because it studies the energy exchanges in the Earth-atmosphere system, climatology is a scientific discipline that unfolds in a global perspective. Based on computer models and data from satellite observations, it has replaced the “climate theory” that had since ancient times accounted for the influence of the climate phenomenon on the natural environment and the behaviour of animals, including humans. In his treatise on political theory titled On The Spirit of Laws (1748), Montesquieu underscored that climate, as a natural phenomenon, affects our customs and our way of living in society. Even if this climatic determinism has been rejected by modern climatology, is it not time to reassess this natural science in order to be in a position to consider, as Bruno Latour proposes, “a new climate regime?”1 

While in the West these various conceptions of the world have for the most part been developed in terms of the nature culture divide, the climatic regime challenges this dualism (Philippe Descola). To borrow Michel Serres’ words, it promotes a new “natural contract,” a new experience of the living world, especially since human activities and the impacts of the industrial sector, in particular oil, have greatly expanded with our entry into the new geological era called the Anthropocene. These unprecedented changes, also fuelled by human overpopulation and the resulting pollution, affect the climate and contribute to global warming. Since then, the climate’s influence on humans, as was postulated by the ancient “climate theories,” has gradually been reversed in favour of a human influence on it. Henceforth, contemporary climatology can non longer define itself according to a discourse based solely on the sciences such as physics, geology and chemistry; it must now also include new approaches which will undoubtedly have repercussions in the field of philosophy, politics and art.

For a long time, Western art history has been determined by the theory of mimesis or the imitation of nature, which was supposed to be the inspiration for the creative act. This aesthetic vision was essentially founded on the representation of the surrounding world, notably the one that emerged from the artialisation of nature (Montaigne) according to which land becomes landscape. Even though artists’ interest in the climate is not exactly recent, at a time when the new climatic regime is bringing about a real mutation, in which the landscape is going beyond the pictorial frame more than ever before, new articulations are now possible, thus opening original spaces for exploration and creation. In this perspective, several artists initially attempt to approach climate change in a global manner.  They are interested in this new dimension in which the land, oceans, glaciers and air are calling on humans to travel down different paths along which the climate is conceived as the phenomenon of phenomena, as an “onto-climatology” (Peter Sloterdijk). As a result, it is no longer about representing nature as an environment that we must master, but about accounting for the limit situation in which we are advancing under the effects of global warming.

Since the famous COP21, an international forum on the climate held in Paris in 2015, a growing number of artists have sought to raise public awareness regarding ecological issues. Rather than succumbing to a catastrophic outlook or aesthesizing the disaster, several artists invite us to imagine, if not possible solutions, at least alternatives, or even a better understanding of the current situation. How can art then be a conveyor for a better comprehension in the face of the crisis? How can it account for the effects of climate change on biodiversity or warn us about the depletion of the earth?  Rather than restricting itself to communicating scientific knowledge, must not art, in its sculptural, sound, virtual and interdisciplinary, or more broadly, experiential dimension first and foremost awaken our sensibility and foster reflection, even debate?

Among the issues to be discussed, should we not also address the artistic productions that are themselves energy intensive or a cause of pollution? Because, it must be said, art and the climate do not always get on well.  Although many artists are increasingly mindful of this aspect and apply eco-friendly practices, others—despite the best intentions in the world—develop devices that end up consuming a lot of energy.  Moreover, how can exhibiting institutions, in particular museums, respond to this urgent situation? How can they, notably through their programming and eco-responsible measures, modify our perception and contribute to transforming viewers’ point of view?

This feature of ESPACE art actuel seeks to gather texts that focus on, among other things by way of case studies, artistic practices with incisive views on the climate. If you wish to submit an article, we invite you, as a first step, to email the editor of the magazine at alpare [@] espaceartactuel [.] com before November 15, 2020, in order to make a brief proposal pitch. We will inform you promptly (by November 15, 2020) if your proposal is selected. Your completed text should not exceed 2000 words, footnotes included, and will be submitted to us by January 18, 2021. The honorarium is $65 per page (250 words).


1. Bruno Latour, Facing Gaia. Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime, trans. Cathy Porter, Cambridge, Polity Press, 2017.

No. 129 (Fall 2021)
FEATURE: THE ARTIST-MUSEOLOGIST: THE NEW USES OF COLLECTIONS
Codirection: Mélanie Boucher and Geneviève Chevalier

This issue of ESPACE art actuel explores contemporary artists’ use of objects (musealia, semiophores) stemming from arts, sciences or social history museums. It examines the role that collections play in the artwork at a period in which museums are revisiting them by diversifying their uses. This issue adopts another viewpoint to pursue the work of the Groupe de recherche et réflexion CIÉCO: Collections et impératif évènementiel/The Convulsive Collectionsa , which has favoured an institutional perspective. It approaches this subject from a different angle by focusing on the artist’s perspective: how and why work with collections? What kind of works emerge from such a production context?

A figure that emerged in the contemporary art context and its new curatorial practices, the artist-museologist is in a sense the inheritor of a relationship that has been forged since the end of the 1960s between the artist and the museum. Artistic interventions in museum collections—not to be confused with works that are presented in the form of a museum or as part of artists’ collections—have multiplied as of the 1990s, in the wake of the second phase of institutional critique and the influence of new institutionalism. Putting experimental institutionalism into action, certain museums have welcomed artists within their collections with a view to foster self-reflection, renew their institutional practice or rethink their relation to tradition, while others sought to align themselves with the new media system that the event imperative calls for. From the practitioners’ point of view, it is now necessary to consider the transhistorical exhibitionary approach as a true curatorial model that, being derived from methodologies specific to collectors, artists and even filmmakers, proposes the comparison of scientific specimens, artefacts and artworks from all periods and all origins, with the primary purpose of establishing visual and conceptual correspondences.

The artist consequently turns more naturally towards the collection, which becomes a site for a an action or a work that unfolds there, the subject or theme of a work, or the raw material of a project that takes on the form of an exhibition. The works of artists that incorporate museum collections are innumerable; let us mention just a few: Looking at Pictures in a Room by David Hockney (1981), Mining the Museum by Fred Wilson (1994) and Grosse Fatigue by Camille Henrot (2013). The artist-museologist explores collections by taking an approach that is his or her own and that incorporates the concerns that drive his or her practice. Moreover, it is generally for this reason that the museum requests his or her involvement. The resulting woks are for the most part the product of a collaboration between two parties. Some museums have even developed longstanding programs that offer artists the possibility of working with their collections, as the National Gallery of London did from 1977 onwards. Other results stem from enterprising artists’ endeavours to work with institutions in order to carry out research and explorations on the basis of the collections, as Raphaëlle de Groot did with Le poids des objets (2009-2016), or the collective Leisure, with Hair Follies / La Perruque (2009).

At the time of writing this call, it is hard to determine what shape these museum-based artistic practices will take. Ecological, gender and decolonial issues, in addition to the challenges linked to the pandemic have led to a reassessment of these forms as we are called to curb proximity in favour of digitally mediated contact. In a context in which the physical spaces of museums are momentarily deserted and institutions have to redefine themselves, what place(s) can the artist occupy? Moreover, what role does the collection play in the work? Why even include it in an artistic practice? Do media, digital and performance arts offer preferable fields of practice for artists to carry out their explorations? In an era of environmental, identity politics and public health crises which are mobilizing us, why are artists turning to these enshrined and physically nearby resources? Could these collections then play an unprecedented role in the creation process?

If you wish to submit an article, we invite you, as a first step, to email the editor of the magazine at alpare [@] espaceartactuel [.] com before December 1st, 2020, in order to make a brief proposal pitch. We will inform you promptly (by December 18, 2020) if your proposal is selected. Your completed text should not exceed 2000 words, footnotes included, and will be submitted to us by April 25, 2021. The honorarium is $65 per page (250 words).


a. In this context, in 2018 Mélanie Boucher and Geneviève Chevalier co-directed a  feature issue of the magazine Muséologies, les cahiers d’études supérieures about “La carte blanche” that museums granted to artists and other participants in the use of collections (vol. 9, no. 2, fall 2018, 294 p.). [On line ]: http://cieco.umontreal.ca/presentation-du-projet