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Linden Reilly
What Work Does the Artwork Do? A Question for Art

Journal article

Journal of Visual Arts Practice
vol. 6(1)
May 2007
ISSN: 14702029
DOI: 10.1386/jvap.6.1.3/2 2007

pp. 5-7
co-author: Chris Smith

This article acts as an introduction to the other articles in this special edition of the journal devoted to the question: What work does the artwork do? It explores the advantages of this question over the definitional "What is art?" question as a vehicle for debating the roles and purposes of artworks — the work artworks do — for arts practitioners in particular. Given the care needed in the forming of questions (since the work questions do is conditioned by such as implicit/explicit epistemological considerations), it raises as an issue to be considered and attended to, what questions could usefully be posed and debated in relation to art practices. In other words, if disciplines are characterised by questions, let us consider the questions appropriate to practice-led research.

The editorial also includes a brief history of the What work does the artwork do? debate - the exhibitions, symposia, performances which are milestones in the debate alongside less formal occasions and explains why the question was posed and explored in the first place.

This special edition of JVAP comes from a number of events constituted of related Exhibition and Symposia in 2003 and 2005 that Reilly and Smith curated and organised around the question of What Work Does the Artwork Do?

read the full paper:

What Work Does the Artwork Do? A Question for Art

Please also refer to hardcopy item for this output.

related outcomes:
Linden Reilly: What Work does the Artwork do?
Chris Smith: Now They Are Surrounded
Chris Smith: What Work does the Artwork do? A Question for Art

back to Linden Reilly home page

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