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