May 3-5, 2023
Deadline: September 15, 2022
Sandra Fraser, Remai Modern; Dominic Hardy, UQAM; Laurier Lacroix, UQAM
Sherry Farrell-Racette, U. of Manitoba; Sandra Fraser, Remai Modern; Dominic Hardy, UQAM; Laurier Lacroix, UQAM; Julia Polyck-O’Neill, York University
As Anne Lafont observes: “Who could believe in the existence of an artist without a work, and a work without a place, even reduced to its tiniest situation?” (Perspective 2014: 4). Having undergone many changes over the centuries, the studio remains essential to artistic production. Often described by artists as a place of one’s own, a laboratory, a cave, we could define the studio as a space to observe the condensation of materials, intuitions, ideas that take shape and become works of art. As Françoise Sullivan reminds us: “the world is concentrated in the studio and then the studio is concentrated in the painting” (Cahiers 1986 :11). The studio could be understood as an incubator that crystallizes the many elements that are called on to give life to the work. Studios have taken many forms since the Renaissance. Types of studios include: 1) a space temporarily rented for the realization of a particular work; 2) a residential space; 3) a specialized space designed to accommodate the equipment necessary for the realization of the work; 4) a collective space where artists, while remaining autonomous in their production, share specialized equipment; 5) a community space where everything is pooled in the context of collective
creations that bear the signature of the workshop; and 6) any combination of elements of these different types.
The layout of the studio, temporary or permanent, requires the same operations. In addition to the realization of the work, involve its management, its distribution and its storage. The studio is also a place of transmission of knowledge and sociability. Artists surround themselves with assistants and apprentices. They welcome critics, dealers, curators, fellow artists, friends. The studio becomes a place for study and research where documentation accumulates. It’s also a space for reading and relaxation, for reverie and musing. Artists are often characterized by their activity as collectors and bargain hunters who accumulate the works of other artists or who store material for future projects. The location of the studio is an indicator of artists’ socio-economic standing and of changing relationships with the infrastructures required to make their work.
From 2018 to 2021, a SSHRC-funded research project (Laurier Lacroix, Dominic Hardy, coinvestigators) collected data on the functions and representations of the studio in Quebec (1800-1980). In the abundance of international publications on the artist’s studio, critical approaches have yet to be undertaken; this symposium offers the opportunity to develop just such a framework in order to examine Canadian artists’ studio experiences, both past and present.
The symposium has the following objectives:
– To take stock of the state of research about artists’ studios in Canada, from the 19th century to today
– To develop a theoretical and methodological framework that can be used to analyze the
artist’s studio and its functions
– To encourage the presentation of case studies
– To gather first-hand accounts from practicing artists.
By establishing a dialogue between researchers and practitioners, the symposium welcomes proposals that can touch on but are not limited to the following topics:
– Defining and designing the studio: Where and when does the studio take place?
– Monographic case studies on artists‘ studios
– The studio’s role in building community / communities
– The relationship between the studio and the type of works produced in it
– The functions of the studio: creation, storage, mentorship, administration, post-production and presentation space…
– Production conditions in the studio: solitude/sociability, access to equipment/storage…
– How do post-1970 artistic practices (in situ, performance, etc.) change the role of the
– Strategies for adapting the studio (disadvantaged background, minority groups)
– The studio of the future
– Representing the studio in exhibitions
– The studio as historical site/museum/exhibition space
– The studio in fiction (literature and cinema)
– The studio in the urban fabric
– Impact of socioeconomic and physical conditions on access to studios
Various forms of presentation are invited:
– 1) 15-minute paper
– 2) 3-minute presentation (Pecha Kucha format)
– 3) Poster presentation to be published on the conference blog
– 4) Visual presentation from artists to be posted on the conference blog
Proposals for papers must be submitted by September 15, 2022, to the following address:
Each proposal should include:
– A title, followed by a brief statement of the topic (150 words maximum) and the form that this presentation will take.
– A brief biographical summary of the presenter (100 words maximum); please add mailing address and, if applicable, institutional affiliation.