Upcoming Events

Experiments in Art Writing

Podcast – Maria Fusco

  • 28 April 2021
  • Podcast to be released at 10.00am on the date above.
    The British Art Talks podcast is an audio series from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. It features new research and aims to enhance and expand knowledge of British art and architecture.

In this series art historians and writers describe key literary, poetic, fictional and art materials that have shaped the form of their writing.

Lively questions of the material form of art studies have re-emerged in recent years: of creative process, of the weight of words and voice and of possibilities of historical speculation. Creative Writing and Art History (2011) edited by Catherine Grant and Patricia Rubin features a range of essays exploring both historical and contemporary modes of creative writing about art. Fictions of Art History (2013) edited by Mark Ledbury, considers the ways in which the discipline of art history, the writing of fiction and the making and viewing of art are comingled. A range of events and sessions have reflected on art history as a literary practice – as ‘fiction with footnotes’, on the mode and potential of ekphrasis, and on diverse practices of ‘art writing’.

This vital activity in the domain of art historiography arises as a range of erstwhile critics and historians are taking leave from established epistemological modes to participate in formal experimentation.

This series hones in on the work of a set of innovative and distinctive UK based art writers, asking them to describe core encounters, materials, voices and texts that have shaped the very form of their writing, and their performance of it, throughout their careers to date.    

About the speaker

  • head and shoulders headshot of Maria Fusco.

    Professor Maria Fusco is an award-winning Belfast born writer, working across the registers of fiction, performance and theoretical writing. She is Chair of Interdisciplinary Writing at the University of Dundee, her texts are published internationally and translated into ten languages and she is Editor of The Happy Hypocrite, a bi-annual journal for experimental writing.

    Recent sound and performance works include Mollspeak (2020), an eleven-channel sound installation in the Museum of Home; ECZEMA! (2018) a touring performance commissioned by National Theatre Wales to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service, and Master Rock, a repertoire for a mountain, performed and recorded inside a granite mountain on the west coast of Scotland commissioned by Artangel and BBC Radio 4.

    Her latest books are Give Up Art (2018), collected critical writings, of which Lisa Robertson has said ‘Fusco’s scintillating mobility invites us to savour a new kind of critical empathy’ and Legend of the Necessary Dreamer (2017) an ambient novella described by Chris Kraus as ‘a new classic of female philosophical writing’.

    She is currently working on a new hybrid opera about the peacelines in her hometown, Belfast, supported by the Royal Opera House, London and The Abbey Theatre, Dublin.