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 Unless otherwise indicated, they should be original and previously unpublished work.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 17, 2022.

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 17, 2022.

3. FEATURE section

a) For the Feature section, we would like original texts of 1500 to 2000 words (excluding 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 8, 2021), 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 17, 2022.

Call for papers for #131 (Spring-Summer 2022).

Issue theme: VOICES

In his text titled Der Erzähler (1936), translated into English as “The Storyteller,” the philosopher Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) puts forward a surprising thesis about experience and wisdom. Based on the work of Nicolaï Leskov (1831-95), a Russian storyteller, Benjamin proposes that “the art of storytelling is coming to an end.” It is being lost because “the ability to exchange experiences,” to convey wisdom through the voice, is less and less communicable. According to him, what undermines the oral tradition, the art of storytelling, is first of all the appearance of the novel, but also, the “progress of information.” Written in Germany, at the beginning of the Second World War, when the use of the voice, amplified by microphones, became an unprecedented instrument capable of galvanizing the masses, Benjamin was aware that orality, as “an artisan form of communication,” must also be revitalized. The author of the text The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1935) is sensitive to the new manner in which photography and film brought about a new acceleration in the deployment of images, both in regards to their production and reception. But what about the art of storytelling? What about artistic creation that makes use of the voice?

A contemporary of avant-garde movements, in particular Dadaism and Futurism, Benjamin sympathizes with their endeavours to resist the mercantile system of artistic production. The voice-based work of art is difficult to “exhibit” or “collect” and, due to its formal singularity, it eludes the traps of neoliberalism, even of language itself. Many of these avant-garde artists used the voice to deconstruct meaning-bearing language and circumvent phonocentrism. By turning their attention to the scream, noise and sound poetry, they expressed, as in Kurt Schwitters’ famous Ursonate, a keen interest for the materiality of the voice. Even though it had to be put in the service of “the waste product of language,” this deconstruction of the voice resonated like a kind of ritual, a rhythmic bewitchment driven by consonants and vowels. Moreover, even if these various sound art processes move away from the voice in its storytelling capacity, they sustain a desire to explore the importance of orality, beyond informative discourse, as a cultural origin of humanity.

Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, the use of the voice in the visual arts has continued unabated. Setting aside disciplinary conventions, some contemporary art practices have explored the voice in hybrid art performances. More recently, the rise and political legitimacy of “testimonial cultures”—in which testimonial practices become a lever of social interventions—reiterates the currentness and relevance of first-person narratives. Though several examples spring to mind, one of the most notable may be the “choreopoem” for coloured girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf  (1975), by Ntozake Shange (1948-2018). The work consists of a series of monologues in seven voices in which seven African-American women testify, all the while dancing, about the racism and violence they have suffered, but also about the hope for a better future. This idea of a subjective voice embodied in living flesh is thus out of step with the notion of a theoretically objective and disembodied “artistic Genius”, a prerogative of the Western white man. The voice becomes sculptural matter in sound installations where it is of course audible and explicit. Other artists more specifically criticize its necessary complicity with language (and all the historical baggage that accompanies it) through sculptures that denounce its conventions and limits, as is the case in Mona Hatoum’s work Hearing Voices (2002). The voice embodies a primordial social dimension favouring listening and attention to speech, to others, to sounds, that brings people together and move them. The oral practices put forward by a number of Indigenous artists reaffirm the epistemological and artistic relevance of this medium, both as a vehicle of ancestral knowledge and as an engaging methodology that guarantees dialogue.

By way of theoretical analyses linked to case studies of recent artistic practices (2000 to today), the no. 131 edition of ESPACE magazine wishes to account for practices in which the human voice (or else)—spoken, declaimed, sung— is at the core of the aesthetic experience. This thematic issue will primarily seek to highlight various works in which a poetics of voices is transmitted by way of display apparatuses rooted in a contemporary art approach. Though the use of the voice is ubiquitous in the telecommunications sphere, this thematic issue would like to mobilize different ethno-cultural perspectives to underline the importance of vocality in its artistic dimension. Special attention will be paid to the oral tradition foregrounded in current art practices. This could be about the sung voice, the voice that transmits a sensibility conducive to emotions; it could be about marginalized voices, those of minority cultures, who struggle to make themselves heard or whose voice has been appropriated and exploited. These various perspectives boost the importance of the audience in the aesthetic process, since its participation is called upon to complete the vocal work. In this thematic issue we open the door to accounts of experiences and forms of knowledge that are often not acknowledged and the conservation of which is now a pressing matter to ensure a plurality of voices in the future.

If you wish to contribute to this thematic issue, we invite you, as a first step, to email the editor of the magazine (alpare@espaceartactuel.com) before October 29, 2021, in order to make a brief proposal pitch (250 words). We will inform you promptly if your proposal is selected. Your completed text should not exceed 2000 words, footnotes excluded, and will be submitted to us by January 17, 2022. The honorarium is $65 per page (250 words).