Getting at and into place: writing as practice and research

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Abstract:

This paper describes a cross-disciplinary method of encountering place and place-specific art work. This involves two stages: a close sensory observation of the place's details followed by a remembering of this engagement through writing. I suggest that, as a method, it offers a way of negotiating the distinct roles of critic and practitioner by juxtaposing creative modes of writing alongside more traditional academic forms. By drawing on the work of five writers in particular, I will demonstrate how they influenced and inspired me to develop my own writing practice. They are anthropologist Clifford Geertz, cultural theorist Walter Benjamin, novelist and psychogeographer Iain Sinclair, cultural critic and art writer Mieke Bal, and architectural designer, historian and theorist Jane Rendell. I will also provide a sample of my practice in the form of a written tour of the Princelet Street House Museum in London.

Keywords: Benjamin; Rendell; encounter; place; site-writing

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jwcp.2.2.159/1

Affiliations: Roehampton University.

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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  • The Journal of Writing in Creative Practice is the official organ of the Writing Purposefully in Art and Design (Writing PAD) network. It offers art and design institutions an arena in which to explore and develop the notion of thinking through writing as a parallel to visual discourse in art and design practice. The journal aims to extend the debates to all national and international higher educational art and design institutions.
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