CON_TEXT. Focus of the 2017 Program.

Series of events and a conference on new forms of literary events

CON_TEXT is the focus of the program of Lettrétage in 2017 – a series of events seeks to address and rethink the format of the ‘reading’. Each of the events in the CON_TEXT series is developed and realised by both an author and an artist from another artistic discipline. Working from the basis of the literary text, its aim is to develop interdisciplinary formats and thereby come to understand ‘the literary event’ as an artistic work in its own right. The usual formats of reading events, as well as the role of literature organisations such as the ‘literature house’, are thus called into question in a dynamic aesthetic manner.

CON_TEXT tests artistic approaches and methods that allow the production, presentation and reflection of a piece of art to blend into one. The literary work opens itself up to discourse and process – the reader is not presented with a finished, unvarying product, nor a fixed point of view, but rather a fragile, unstable entity which the reader can become a part of as the ‘text’ is ‘performed’. Production and presentation become one: the event taps into the essence of literature as an art form, drawing off its particular capacity for process. Literature will, in this sense, offer an opportunity to communicate rather than proclaiming apodictic truths.

Ten events will take place in 2017, each of them developed and realised by a literary author and an artist specialising in another discipline. In a three-day international closing conference, artists and scientists will open a discussion panel that will give a theoretical reflection of the numerable examples of different practices presented: How does the literary event relate to the text and how does the curator relate to the author? How can a literary event offer real aesthetic and discursive added value without demeaning the artistic significance of texts in their own right? Does the curation of a work imply a certain dispossession of the author? Is curation a type of translation? If so, what would its target language be? What possibilities do analogue and digital means of text production present for literary events? Is everything just a matter of staging something in the end? If not, what language could the literary event invent which would both assert the peculiarity of a literary text as well as creatively developing it further, all the while aiming for an aesthetic and animated literary experience?

CON_TEXT draws partially on current developments in other artistic fields, as well as genuinely interdisciplinary art. Artists of the visual and performing arts often use texts in their work, but the difference is that these artists are rarely offered a platform to focus on literary texts and develop interdisciplinarity from a literary perspective. This is where CON_TEXT comes in.

Funded by ‘Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa‘ (Senate Department for Culture and Europe)