From work to word

Since the explosion of theory in the seventies and eighties, image producers as well as artists have become more eloquent in their writings, while at the same time theoreticians’ texts have been extended into philosophical tours de force. Explanations appended to art works that had ceased to mediate meaning became invisible extensions of forms of artistic expression. In ideal cases they crossed and supplemented research in related or extraneous theories. „From Work to Word“ follows some of the traces left by these phenomena. Does the irritation that is felt at works of art not being able to communicate all that is needed, or even something beyond this, also apply to the theoretical appendages? Is there at least a geared logic that guides a word-based formulation when conventional forms and institutions of image production become insufficient? My investigations were based on the juxtaposition of the idea of „from work to word“ with field research into „artists’ writings“. After having created five perspectives for the field research (the perspectives of genre, language, authorship, artists’ books, manifestos), I developed the project towards a more experimental and challenging stage, involving the interplay of text and image, theory and practice. I finally decided to tackle artists and theoreticians who are familiar with cross-disciplinary practice, theory and viewpoints. In our preliminary communications I also stressed the issue of text and theory in contemporary „new media“ that have an influence on art practice and theory.