A Dead Writer Exists in Words and Language is a Type of Virus

Linda Stupart

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


    "Virus" synthesises four years of performative and traditional research—engaging a range of contemporary artists, institutions, and writing practices to reformulate possibilities for art criticism and institutional critique within artworlds. This practice-based research offers new possibilities for embodied art criticism. The work makes visible, interrupts, and challenges the violent and patriarchal structures of the artworld, offering new modes and practices of feminist and queer artmaking, critique, and resistance. As well as the novella, "Virus" comprises sculptural elements, videos, performance, and a series of prints of spells written for/against the artworld.
    This research contributes to performance art, situating itself on the borders of ritual, language, and performativity. The spell works are at the centre of a ‘re-emergence’ of witchcraft in art, and new possibilities for performance-as-criticism. "Virus" is a singular output in multiple fields—literary criticism; experimental writing; contemporary art; eco-feminism; queer theory, and objectification studies—and its multidisciplinarity contributes to each of these fields. Its assertion as an art object, in the form of writing, is an integral moment for the conception of the ‘Art Writing’ discipline.

    The spells appeared in a major survey show of feminist art touring the UK (‘Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance’, 2018–19), as well as survey shows about witchcraft and contemporary art in Vienna and Cornwall. Stupart performed spells as research outputs at the University of Melbourne; 4S: Society for Social Science annual conference, Sydney; Edinburgh University; Reading University; and as an exemplary of practice-based research in the BCU PGCert lecture program.

    "Virus" is the subject of two conference papers: Ass. Prof. Helen Hester (‘Towards a Theory of Thing-Women’, 2017) and Dr Holly Pester (‘Common Rest’ 2016). It is on university reading lists including: Royal Academy of Art, Copenhagen; Reading University; University of Cape Town; Queen Mary and Goldsmiths, London University; and LCC.
    Original languageEnglish
    Media of outputOnline
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 9 Dec 2020


    • virus
    • art
    • art and design


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