Initially, being mass produced and sequential, comic art was excluded from fine art museums. Some comics artists themselves have expressed ambivalence about the value of inclusion (but counter-arguments are proposed, challenging the perception of incompatibility). However, a pivotal element in the break from the ranks of artistic modernism has been the appropriation of comic art motifs for use in museum-grade pop art, figuration narrative and their successors. In counterpoint, comic art is replete with examples of museum art being appropriated in order to obtain diegetic enrichment of various sorts, either for the purpose of parody or in relation to plot construction. Against this backdrop, and abetted by the twin challenge that art museums are facing to remain relevant and to increase revenue, a game-changing development is afoot, leading to a co-operative re-positioning of art museums and comics artists. With the Louvre taking the lead, many art museums in France and Italy are now commissioning works of comic art based on the museum's own collections, often launched with companion exhibits. The resultant 'art within art' lends itself readily to rich experimentation with themes incorporating intertextuality and parallel narrative.
Michael D. Picone
Hollie MacKenzie and Iain MacKanzie
In this article we focus on the potential for an alignment of certain feminist artistic practices and poststructuralist conceptions of critique that may enable ways of theorizing practices of resistance and engender ways of practicing resistance in theory, without the lurch back into masculinist forms of dogmatism. It will be claimed that an ontological conception of art, considered as that which makes a difference in the world, can not only challenge the primacy of the dogmatic and masculine ‘subject who judges’, but also instill ways of thinking about, and ways of enacting, feminist artistic encounters with the capacity to resist dogmatism. The theoretical stakes of this claim are elaborated through complimentary readings of Deleuze and Guattari’s constructivist account of philosophy and Irigaray’s feminist explorations of what it means to think from within the 'labial', rather than from the position of the dominant phallic symbolic order. We argue that this creative conjunction between Irigaray, Deleuze, and Guattari provides the resources for a conceptualisation of both feminist artistic practice and the critical practice of poststructuralist philosophy as forms of resistance to the dominant patriarchal order, in ways that can avoid the collapse back into masculinist forms of dogmatism. Revel’s discussion of the role of constituent rather than constituted forms of resistance is employed to draw out the implications of this position for contentious politics. It is concluded that constituent practices of resistance can be understood as a challenge to the phallogocentric symbolic order to the extent that they are practices of a labial art-politics.
The welcome attention paid to Quebec in this issue of European Comic Art immediately points to a cluster of intellectual questions concerning identity, territory and academic discipline(s). What need was there for grouping a corpus, and analysis of it, according to this category, and what meanings are implied in that selection? And what problems are evoked by the adjective ‘European’? These are familiar questions to all those Quebec specialists working in French (‘and Francophone’) Studies, as well as, in my case, Film Studies. On the one hand, Quebec culture in all its forms of expression possesses a relevance and richness, due to historical and spatial factors I shall outline below, but is largely off the radar of the disciplines and sub-disciplines it could enrich. This is no more true than in French Studies, where it is difficult, but also necessary, topical (witness the continuing debate, five years after the manifesto, around littérature-monde) and urgent, to challenge the hierarchy implied in the centre and periphery generated by ‘(and) Francophone’. The challenge is to place Quebec in an endlessly comparative relationship with other French-speaking cultures, with other Atlantic spaces, in order to break down the barriers implied in an often ghettoised ‘specialisation’. Here bande dessinée scholarship has an interesting advantage, in that, despite the phenomenal cultural weight of the art form within metropolitan French life, a decidedly non-metropolitan space, namely Belgium, offers a central position. The opportunity is there to emphasise lateral connections that bypass as well as include metropolitan France, hence the work here on Tintin in Quebec. To an extent, bande-dessinée-monde, to coin a phrase, is already a reality.
Hubert I. Cohen
Review of András Bálint Kovács, SCREENING MODERNISM: EUROPEAN ART CINEMA, 1950–1980
Robert Benayoun on Comics and Roy Lichtenstein
This article examines for the first time the writings on comics and pop art by the surrealist Robert Benayoun in the 1950s and 1960s. Analysing Benayoun’s repudiation of Roy Lichtenstein’s work especially, it argues that these writings offer one means of navigating the rarely assessed overlap between surrealism and pop. Benayoun claimed immense significance for comics and derided Lichtenstein’s appropriation of the form from a political position gained from his immersion in surrealism; this position is only fully understandable through examination of surrealism’s theory of culture and its historical and cultural context of the 1950s and 1960s. Ultimately, I want to show not only why surrealism prefers Pogo to pop and Li’l Abner to Lichtenstein, but also how its occultist theory can accommodate culture where pop art sustains a conflict, in spite of what many have perceived as the collapse of high and low in pop.
The Istanbul Biennial (IB) editions, as cultural events for the wider region and the Middle East, are examined in this article with regard to their relevance for art and artists and their interactions with their host city. Biennials of contemporary art, as main exhibition events of the present, and the urban transformations of Istanbul form the context of the research. Biennials, including the IB, often address controversial topics. Accordingly, the discrepancy between the critical stance of curators and artists, as well as the uses that a Biennial is subjected to by various interest groups, has to be taken under scrutiny.
Zeynep Kılıç and Jennifer Petzen
This article invites scholars of race and migration to look at the visual arts more closely within the framework of comparative race theory. We argue that within a neoliberal multicultural context, the marketing of art relies on the commodification and circulation of racial categories, which are reproduced and distributed as globalized racial knowledge. This knowledge is mediated by the racial logic of neoliberal multiculturalism. Specifically, we look at the ways in which the global art market functions as a set of racialized and commodified power relations confronting the “migrant“ artist within an orientalizing curatorial framework.
Dialogical Teaching and Art as Performative
In this article, I consider the definition and use of the term dialogue in museum education, focusing on the work of Rika Burnham and Elliot Kai-Kee, whose ramifications for art itself have often been sidelined by educators. First, I examine the relationship between Burnham and Kai-Kee’s theory of education and Hans-Georg Gadamer’s and John Dewey’s writing on art, arguing that dialogical museum teaching implicitly relies on a definition of art as performative. Then, I explore the ramifications of Gadamer’s and Dewey’s definition of art as performative for the field of museum education. Finally, I argue that by understanding art as an active participant in our encounters with it—and by refocusing our attention on art’s role in museum educational practice—we create a radically new argument for museums as educational institutions that bring people and art into dialogue with each other.
European Comic Art Reaches Its Tenth Year
With this issue, European Comic Art, the first peer-reviewed academic journal on comics, moves into its tenth year of existence. Over the past few years, the field has become more crowded, as scholarly interest in comics has expanded, but the quality and quantity of submissions that we receive is ever increasing. We are proud to have published articles by major comics theorists, as well as by emerging young researchers, and to have contributed to debates on formal, graphic and narrative resources of the medium; temporality and duration in comics; adaptation and the mutual influence between comics and other arts, including the novel, film, fine art (especially modernism) and the performing arts; and the diverse influences on the development of comics, including caricature and satirical prints.
The Louvre and the Bande Dessinée
Margaret C. Flinn
This article concerns the eight albums currently available in a series of bandes dessinées commissioned by the Louvre from established, well-respected bédéistes and co-published with Futuropolis since 2005. This successful, high-profile series has elicited positive critical response, but that response has also exposed persistent mutual antagonisms between bande dessinée and the establishment art world as represented by the Louvre Museum. These tensions between 'high' and 'low' culture can be read within the narratives of the albums themselves, in which we see reflexivity used to highlight bande dessinée's artistic value, and various types of obstruction and sensory impairments (realist and supernatural) are used to disrupt quotidian relationships to museum space.