Appel à communication : La « médiatisation de l’artiste » (Amsterdam/La Haye, 19-20 juin 2014)

The ‘Mediatization’ of the Artist

EYE Film Institute, Amsterdam/Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD), The Hague, 19-20 June 2014
Deadline: Dec 13, 2013

Call for papers:
The international conference The Mediatization of the Artist aims to  examine the various aspects of the visual-media presence of the artist  from the nineteenth century to today. With the rise of notions of  artistic autonomy and the simultaneous demise of old systems of  patronage, artists increasingly found themselves confronted with the  necessity of developing a public image. At the same time, new audiences  for art discovered their fascination for the life and work of the  artist. The rise of new media such as the illustrated press,  photography and film meant that the needs of both parties could easily  be satisfied in both words and images. This led to a transformation of  the artist from a mere producer of works of art into a widely  recognized celebrity.

The conference will revolve around four themes:
(1) The Artist in the (Illustrated) Press. One of the first  manifestations of the artist in the media was in the nineteenth-century  illustrated press. Since this time, visits to the artist’s studio, but  also biographical portrayals and obituaries, have remained a popular  genre in newspapers and publications from L’Illustration to Life and  beyond, and have made a fundamental contribution to the cult of the  artist.
(2) The Artist on Film. Almost immediately following the invention of  photography, and later cinema, visual artists became subject to the  camera’s gaze. From series of photographs of famous contemporaries to  profiles and/or the documentation of artistic process, film and  photography have developed into standard, but also mythologizing, media  for the public’s understanding of the artist and the visual arts.
(3) Artists’ Self-Mediatization. Once a royal protégé, from the  nineteenth century onwards, artists were forced to exhibit and sell  their works in a highly competitive market. This necessitated the  development of media strategies. From Gustave Courbet’s Pavillon du  Réalisme to Ai Wei Wei’s blog, taking control of the public’s  perception of one’s art and personality has remained a staple of  artists’ practice to this day.
(4) The Artist in Popular Media. Another aspect of the transformation  of the artist from an elite producer into a figure of popular culture  revolves around new forms of mediatization such as caricatures and  comics, but also – and perhaps more importantly – of the non-fictional  artist as a character in docudramas, biopics, and tv-series. Here, the  tragic or dramatic aspects of life and creation are the main focus,  reinforcing the notion that the artist’s very nature is eccentric,  combining (once again) madness and genius.

We invite contributions that critically examine these forms of  mediatization, their pros and cons, as well as their historical  dimensions. We encourage an interdisciplinary, trans-historical, and  trans-national approach, and welcome papers that are either theoretical  or more case-st udy based.
Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words (for a 20-minute paper) and a CV to: Sandra Kisters ( and Rachel Esner  ( no later than 13 December 2013.
Speakers will be notified by the end of January 2014.
A publication inspired by this conference is foreseen; therefore please  indicate in your abstract whether you would be interested in further  developing your paper for a book

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