• The Bitter Cup

Tatham, Joanne and O'Sullivan, Tom, 2019, Book, The Bitter Cup Book Works, London. ISBN 9781906012885

Abstract or Description:

‘The Bitter Cup’ is a publication commissioned by Book Works (London) and Hospitalfield (Arbroath) as a response to the archives of the Scottish Painter Lil Nielson.
Research aims:

1 To re-evaluate and re-position the practice of Neilson in the context of Scottish contemporary art.

2 To explore forms and devices from literature as valid strategies to produce art histories.

3 To explore an auto-ethnographic and fiction-writing approach to archival research within a contemporary art context.

The project is positioned both within the context of Art Writing and recent creative approaches within Art History. Art Writing here being understood as experimental approaches to writing and production of texts within a contemporary art context (M.Fusco). Creative writing within Art History being the utilisation of auto-ethnography and the production of fiction in this context (a notable example being The Sight of Death (2006) by T J Clarke). These approaches are often adopted as a strategy to disrupt, or critique, the existing canonical hierarchies of Art History, especially in regards to feminist practice.

The Bitter Cup adopts a number of strategies in the production of text, image and para-text in order to explore the research questions. Devices normally associated with literature are brought together in a structure and form that also draws from histories of conceptual art and institutional critique. Literary approaches include first person narrative and the diaristic together with other epistolary devices such as letter writing and apparent archival documents. The structure considers the relationship of such texts to each other, to images, and to other elements traditionally considered exterior to the text, all in order to produce critical reflection on what is being read.

The project has been funded by Book Works (£25,500 including in kind) and by Hospitalfield (£1,000). Book Works is a leading contemporary Art organisation commissioning experimental writing and producing Artists books. ‘The Bitter Cup’ was launched with a public in-conversation and reading event at Hospitalfield in August 2019. Further public events are planned for London and Glasgow in early 2020. An edited version of the text will appear as a journal article in a special edition of Visual Culture in Britain (March 2019) focusing on feminist reappraisals of female Scottish artists in the late C20th.

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art > W190 Fine Art not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Copyright Holders: Joanne Tatham, Tom O'Sullivan
Funders: Book Works, London, Hospitalfield, Arbroath
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2019 14:59
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2019 16:35
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/4028
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