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 Associate Professor in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Operating under the title Not Yet There, Cocker's research focuses on artistic processes and practices, and the performing of ‘thinking-in-action’ emerging therein; on models of (art) practice and subjectivity that resist the pressure of a single, stable position by remaining wilfully unresolved. Her mode of working unfolds restlessly along the threshold between writing/art, including experimental, performative and collaborative approaches to producing texts parallel to and as art practice. Cocker's practice involves ‘contiguous writing’ — a mode of creative-critical writing that seeks to touch upon rather than being explicitly about. Her 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; Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, 2017; The Creative Critic: Writing as/about Practice, and as a solo collection, The Yes of the No, 2016.