The Work Of Art
Committed to researching through the work of art, while interrogating the scope and parameters of this commitment.
Afterall’s One Work series foregrounds the work of art itself as a fulcrum of research. Since its inception, Afterall journal has been concerned to analyse contemporary artistic processes by focusing on artists’ practices, exhibition histories and the contexts of both.
Each title in the One Work series instead takes seriously the generative potential of a single work of art, both for scholarly reflection and artistic creativity. In that spirit, the Two Works series engages with the visual artwork’s potential for productive encounter with text; its participation in regimes of thought and communication beyond the visual. In Art School, a collaboration between Afterall and Central Saint Martins’s Fine Art Programme, scholars, artists, curators and students reflect in written, oral and visual formats on the work of art as a means through which to reflect on questions of education – its vexed and radical histories, its contemporary formulations.
Each of these projects encourages the commitment to researching through rather than around the work of art, while interrogating the scope and parameters of this commitment. Seeking to move beyond conventionalist definitions of what the work of art is and can do, and embracing heterogeneity, we are interested in probing simultaneously the artwork’s aesthetic and relational properties, in a wide variety of contexts and from diverse perspectives.