BOOKS: The Book Lovers with Mark von Schlegell

Book Tickets

Language: English
Location: MELLY

Join us for BOOKS with special guests The Book Lovers (David Maroto and Joanna Zielińska) and their guest writer and critica Mark von Schlegell. This edition of BOOKS will continue conversations on fictocritical writing strategies in contemporary art, bringing together science fiction with the idea of the ‘curator’s novel’.

In recent years, there has been a turn in the visual arts towards narrative literature. A growing interest in experimental forms of creative criticism is producing a hybrid textual space where theory and practice, fiction and research, merge. During a public conversation, The Book Lovers and von Schlegell will discuss issues related to the exhaustion of conventional models of critical art writing, and the possibilities opened by alternative writing practices, such as the curator’s novel and the introduction of devices usually ascribed to creative writing into art criticism. Furthermore, can fiction writing serve as a means to archive an art project (exhibition, performance)? Can literary traits such as imagination and narrative empathy recreate access to areas of experience where other documentary media (video, photography) cannot reach?

These questions will be discussed through the lens of von Schlegell’s work, such as his science-fiction novel New Dystopia (2011), which replaced the catalog in the exhibition he curated at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux; and his ‘Ickles series’ (compiled in anthologies such as Ickles, ad Infinitum, 2020), which he defines as ‘critical fictions’, short stories often written in response to art exhibitions, instead of the expected essay-review. Since all of them take place in the same shared universe, each piece serves to flesh out a science-fiction world that maintains its own autonomy. As Lynne Tillman claims, this strategy is not about explaining an artwork, or talking ‘about’ it, but about expanding ideas in writing ‘to’ art – or ‘with’ art.



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