Francis M A (2010) Here and There: An artist’s writing as aesthetic form. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 97–109.
This article explores the idea of ‘research-work as art’, inverting the more commonly discussed idea of ‘artwork as research’. Presented initially as a play script and artwork for The Art of Research conference (University of Art & Design, Helsinki, 2009), the article explores the relationship between art, research and art-writings.
The script was exhibited at the conference as a conceptual artwork on the wall outside the conference hall as a set of A3 photocopies. These depicted the scanned pages of a book in which the play was located. In the conference hall, Francis adopted the role of the actor performing ‘the speaker’ delivering the paper on ‘an artist’s writing as aesthetic form’. Come the question and answer session that followed the delivery of the paper, Francis referred the audience to the images outside, which clearly framed the script she’d just delivered as an artwork.
The philosophical content of the fictional paper also reflects this tension between artwork and writing, the ‘speaker’ exploring the conditions for understanding writing as aesthetic practice. Drawing on Hegel’s Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics, Francis expands her ideas on ‘situational fiction’ to further demonstrate that issues surrounding ‘the will to explanation’ in practice-based research is as much an issue for an artist’s writing as it is for artworks.
This paper was subsequently presented at the Writing Intersections conference at University of Technology, Sydney, and the journal article presented here provides a copy of the play-script. The research underpinning the article has led to Francis receiving invitations to talk about art-writing and research at Kingston University, Norwich University College, Winchester School of Art, the Royal College of Art, and to run an art-writing course at Tate Modern.