Experiment and “Art Art”. From Uncertainty to Imitation

Keywords: experiment, Art art, experimental novel, experimental art, pastiche, imitation


The article discusses three various stages of artistic experiment. Both a source concept of experiment in artistic practice, developed by Émile Zola in the 19th century under the banner of 'experimental novel', and the neo-avant-garde distinction into Art art and experimental art created by Allan Kaprow in the 1960s, established a close connection of experiment with uncer­tainty and risk. In this context, the article investigates the extent to which contemporary artists' practices, including those frequently defined as experimental, can be subsumed under the histo­rical meaning of experiment and poses a question whether they might have created another style of art. The problem is analysed in reference to Artur Żmijewski's film, Powtórzenie [Repetition].

Author Biography

Łukasz Białkowski, Department of Art Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Pedagogical University of Krakow, Poland

(Born 1981) – Ph. D. in philosophy. He is a university lecturer, art critic and independent curator. He focuses on the problems of socially engaged art, as well as relations between a structure of art production and the development of audio-visual technologies and the Internet. He has published his texts in numerous magazines, exhibition catalogues and monographic studies. Author of Nieszczere pole. Szkice o sztuce elaborating on various aspects of the notion of autonomy within the art field and Figury na biegunach discussing the figure of an author in 20th-century philosophy of art. Associate Professor at the Faculty of Humanities at the Pedagogical University of Kraków and lecturer at the Faculty of Graphic Arts (Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków). He lives in Kraków.


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