Invited contributor to an essay on critical writing by Chris Brown (Reviews Editor at a-n). Other contributors included John Beagles, Neil Mulholland, John Slyce, Joshua Sofaer and Peter Suchin.
"There is a deceptively complex relationship between the artist’s intentions in her work, the curator’s interpretation of that work, and the writer’s response to that presentation. Writers’ approaches to this relationship vary enormously, from careful negotiation to absolute autonomy. And, as writer and lecturer Emma Cocker points out, the context influences this relationship too: “Is the writing intended as criticism, as a form of critique or qualitative judgement; or an interpretation or contextual construct? Is it dialogic or responsive; academic or theoretical; performative or propositional; experimental or speculative, playful or simply a form of reportage that documents or describes a piece of work? ... Cocker's writing is often informed by conversations or interviews with artists. She states, "This kind of dialogue between artists and writers is not a way of simply clarifying the intentions of the artist that are then articulated by the writer, but is rather a space where meanings are proposed, negotiated and contested ... Cocker's interest lies in developing and examining critical contexts to frame an artist's practice, as opposed to passing a critical judgment of the work itself or "trying to rigidly locate its meaning or deny the work its inherent instability".
Read more on the Interface Section of the a-n website @ http://interface.a-n.co.uk/articles/single/379627
- emma cocker
- Emma Cocker is a writer-artist based in Sheffield and Reader in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Operating under the title Not Yet There, her research enquiry focuses on the process of artistic endeavour, alongside models of (art) practice and subjectivity that resist the pressure of a single, stable position by remaining wilfully unresolved. Cocker’s work unfolds restlessly along the threshold between writing/art. Whilst embracing the potential of the essayistic (as a tentative effort or trial), her writing includes experimental, performative and collaborative approaches to producing texts parallel to and as art practice. Cocker's recent writing has been published in Failure, 2010; Stillness in a Mobile World, 2010; Drawing a Hypothesis: Figures of Thought, 2011; Hyperdrawing: Beyond the Lines of Contemporary Art, 2012; Reading/Feeling (Affect), 2013; On Not Knowing: How Artists Think, 2013; and as a solo collection entitled The Yes of the No, 2016. She is currently a key-researcher on the project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, with the artistic research findings published as an accompanying artists' book/research compendium, 2017.