Valid Fictional Contributions to Non-Fictional Debates: Fictocritical Writing in Artistic Research




Fictocritical writing, artistic research, hybridization, literature, visual arts, performative writing


Fictocritical writing has been defined as an interdisciplinary practice that seeks to “blur the boundaries between the fictional, the factual and the theoretical.” As a mode of experimental writing, it holds a great potential to reinvigorate the current state of critical art writing – specifically, artistic research. The present paper sets out to investigate the usefulness of venturing beyond the constative function of the text and discusses the performative nature of writing employed at the service of artistic enquiry.

To that end, I examine three key case studies that shed light on the intricacies of fictocritical writing: Bert Danckaert’s The Extras, Barbara Browning’s The Gift, and Katrina Palmer’s The Dark Object. They all constitute artistic research projects written as novels (two of them are also PhD theses) that, at the same time, are inscribed in an art project. Furthermore, I offer a practice-based example, an excerpt from my novel The Fantasy of the Novel (also part of my PhD thesis), with the hope that the reader will be able to apprehend the effects of fictocritical writing directly, rather than just their description.

Author Biography

David Maroto, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

is a Spanish visual artist based in the Netherlands and a PhD from the Edinburgh College of Art, with a research project called The Artist’s Novel: The Novel as a Medium in the Visual Arts, which has been published in a two-volume book (Mousse Publishing).

David has an extensive international artistic practice: the Havana Biennial, Biennale Warszawa, Kanal Centre Pompidou (Brussels), W139 (Amsterdam), A Tale of a Tub (Rotterdam), Artium Museum (Vitoria), Extra City (Antwerp), S.M.A.K. (Gh- ent), EFA Project Space (NYC), a. o.

With curator Joanna Zielińska, he runs The Book Lovers, a research project on the artist’s novel with the support of M HKA (Antwerp). This collaboration has enabled them to engage with a host of international institutions, including Whitechapel Gallery (London), Museum of Modern Art (Warsaw), Kunstinstituut Melly (Rotterdam), EFA Project Space (NYC), CCA Glasgow, Fabra i Coats (Barcelona), Index (Stockholm), De Appel (Amsterdam), a. o.

David has published numerous articles and edited various publications, including Artist Novels (Sternberg Press, 2015); Tamam Shud (Sternberg Press, 2018); and Obieg magazine no. 8, "Art & Literature: A Mongrel's Guide" (2018).




How to Cite

Maroto, D. (2023). Valid Fictional Contributions to Non-Fictional Debates: Fictocritical Writing in Artistic Research. Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis, (109), 65–83.