[artinfo] Call for Papers: Artistic Subversion

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Mon Jan 23 19:21:02 CET 2017

Kunstlicht: Journal for Art, Visual Culture & Architecture

Call for Papers

Artistic Subversion: Exposing Conditions & Cracking the Frame

(working title), Kunstlicht, Vol. 38 (2017)


Deadline for proposals: 21 February 2017

Issue release: Spring 2017

Submit proposals via redactie at tijdschriftkunstlicht.nl

In this time of tumultuous politics, the upcoming 
issue of Kunstlicht will consider the strategies 
and methods by which artists engage with 
subversion to unveil, resist, or transform 
structures of power.

Writing on the activities of the Situationist 
International in 1957, Guy Debord argued that 
subversive ideas were forbidden access to public 
discourse as a result of the 'rigged game of 
official culture'. Yet subversive ideas, by means 
of pure suppression, may only grow in influence. 
In order to disempower them, Debord argues, 
'[t]he ruling ideology arranges the 
trivialization of subversive discoveries, and 
widely circulates them after sterilization'. This 
recuperation of subversion into spectacle is a 
reality with which critical artistic practice 
must contend.

As philosopher Chantal Mouffe has noted, today 
'artistic critique has become an important 
element of capitalist productivity'. As such, art 
is implicated in regimes of social control and 
the consolidation of capital. But (how) can it be 
called upon to subvert these regimes? Artists 
like Martha Rosler, with works that combine 
disparate images such as 'House Beautiful: 
Bringing the War Home' (1967-72, 2004-08) and 'If 
It's Too Bad to be True, It Could be 
Disinformation' (1985), or Elizabeth Sisco, Louis 
Hock, and David Avalos who collaborate on public 
projects such as 'Welcome to America's Finest 
Tourist Plantation' (1988) or 'Art Rebate' (1993) 
that engage directly with media to shape the 
discourse they generate, continue to devise 
strategies to generate critical reflection 
despite the treacherous nature of the terrain.

Kunstlicht invites contributions that focus on 
specific case studies (past or present), as well 
as theory-based discussions on subversion in art. 
How can art be subversive and what does it 
effectively subvert? How do historic, cultural, 
or socioeconomic circumstances influence 
approaches to subversion, and how does the 
controversy it generates effect its potential? Is 
the subversive quality of an artwork 
intrinsically connected to its context, or is it 
possible for a work to continue to be subversive, 
or to become subversive, in new contexts? With 
such questions in mind, this issue seeks to 
explore subversion in relation to artistic 
practice, and the factors that must be considered 
when making an artwork that may threaten reigning 

Proposals (200-300 words) with attached résumés 
can be submitted to 
<mailto:redactie at tijdschriftkunstlicht.nl>redactie at tijdschriftkunstlicht.nl. 
Selected authors will be invited to write a 
2,000-3,000 word paper (excluding notes). Papers 
may be written either in English or in Dutch.

Authors who publish in Kunstlicht will receive 
three complementary copies. Kunstlicht does not 
provide an author's honorarium. Two years 
following publication, papers will be submitted 
to the freely accessible online archive. This 
issue will appear in print, and additionally a 
selection of articles published online.

redactie at tijdschriftkunstlicht.nl
Steyn Bergs & Rosa te Velde, Editors in Chief

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1105
The Netherlands

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