Issue 118 (winter 2018)
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 Unless otherwise indicated, they should comprise original and previously unpublished work.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 8, 2017.
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 8, 2017.
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. The text will be translated into French or English. As well as an honorarium of $65 per page (250 words), we will send you a free one-year subscription to the magazine.
Date for reception of the final version of the text is September 8, 2017.
Dossier : “Wounds” (winter 2018)
In a famous text, Sigmund Freud writes that the human being has endured, during just under four centuries, three “narcissistic wounds 1 .” According to the psychoanalyst, these wounds emerged following the Copernican, Darwinian and Freudian revolutions, each destabilizing, in the realms of cosmology, anthropology or psychology, the human’s place in the living world. These three wounds—trauma in ancient Greek—appear in the context of a loss. Indeed, they upset the image of our human nature as it has been conveyed for centuries by mythology, religion, even philosophy. And though for some, these humiliations are still difficult to accept, artistic practices—as soon as they move away from the “great works”—fully assume this idea of the human being, stripped of his illusions.
Several artistic currents during the 20th century—including, of course, surrealism—have benefited from the idea that the human is more than a being of reason. This artistic movement saw a liberating power in the subconscious, drawing from a new way of imagining. Still, denying the image of the man-god, the master of self at the centre of the world, did not prevent other wounds from surfacing. On the contrary, the wound, according to Antonin Artaud, is at the heart of the creative process. Often, the work of art is a substitute for certain painful realities. And if the wound evokes physical violence, it is because it manifests within a body and leaves behind scars. In the history of western art, the notion of the wound has thus often been represented under the form of cuts, scrapes, and mutilations. With the body of Christ suffering, that of Saint Sebastian riddled with arrows, and several other works in which motionless bodies are shown, often in agony, the wound brings up the vulnerable finitude of the human body. Today, this fragility appears more readily in photography, as well as in certain works by Andres Serrano, where the representation of hurt, assaulted bodies reminds viewers of our lives as mortal beings.
But the wound is not only about representing the body with images. For certain artists, like Lucio Fontana, the inflicted wound is also a provocation before that which the canvas as a creation surface symbolizes. During the 1950s-1960s, certain Japanese artists would create works by throwing bottles of paint or coloured arrows at a canvas. These creative actions, against a backdrop of destruction, are also found in Niki de Saint-Phalle’s Tirs series. Still intending to bring the wound into the representation, several artists use their bodies as the medium of their works. During performances, they push the boundaries of good taste by mutilating certain parts of their bodies, not to atone for mistakes, but rather to arrive at an extreme artistic process wherein the body must be tested. Obviously, the wound as a work of art is a deliberately artistic act, but it can also be the object of violence inflicted upon another, as a ritualistic process. We see such a case in the video series Circoncisions (1999-2007) by the Cameroonian artist Barthélémy Toguo.
If the wound manifests in the flesh, if it is felt physically, it leaves just as much of a trace in the mind as it does on the physical experience of an individual. There are, as Paul Ricoeur states, memory wounds. And these wounds transform our history, as much personally as collectively, and make us become what we are. Additionally, because of the memory’s work, these wounds inherent to our history seek pardon, recognition. They want, for the most part, reparation. But reparation is not a restoring to before the violence committed, to before the wound. Reparation does not erase the wound. Recently, several artistic practices have been concerned with showing these memory wounds. They manifest through counter-monumentalism, but also through multidisciplinary installations. Think Franco-Moroccan artist Kader Attia who presented in 2015 an exhibit at the Lausanne Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts (Switzerland) titled Les blessures sont là (The Wounds are Here, my translation). Think Algonquin artist Nadia Myre, whose project titled The Scar Project (2005-2013) highlights in a participative piece the scars that indelibly shape our lives.
The theme of ESPACE art actuel no 118 invites you to propose your texts on the theme of the wound. In a globalized context, the notion of the wound can be presented under diverse aspects that call for exchanges between culture, politics and identity. Is there a right way to use memory wounds? How can art act as a reparation? And what meaning do we give to this reparation? How does art participate in an aesthetic resilience? These questions, and many others, could be raised from case studies or even from more theoretical reflections based nevertheless on several current artistic practices.
1. See Sigmund Freud, « Une difficulté de la psychanalyse », in Essais de psychanalyse appliquée, Paris, Gallimard (coll. idées), p. 137 à 147.