OBOE Journal reviews submissions on a rolling basis.
Our next submission deadlines are as follows:

Deadline for Abstracts: November 1, 2020
Acceptance of Abstracts: November 20, 2020
Paper Submission: January 20, 2021  

Alongside submissions, OBOE intends to explore particular research paths. For this reason, it develops an open research project called OBOE Research Platform and publishes calls on specific topics which are meant to form one or more special issues.

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OBOE Research Platform topics:
Studies on the Venice Biennale: National Pavilions

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Upcoming Special Issues:

“BARE LIFE”: QUESTIONING ART PRACTICES IN TIMES OF CRISIS

Bare life is a notion investigated by Giorgio Agamben in his famous yet controversial volume Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (1995). He derives the concept from the ancient Greek distinction between natural life (zoe) and a particular form of life (bios), which Aristotle saw at/as the origin of the polis (the city state/its body of citizens). For Agamben, bare life signifies the abandonment of natural life to covering violence. Therefore, ‘bare life’ is a politicised form of natural life. Bare life emerges from within this distinction and can be defined as “life exposed to death”, especially in the form of sovereign violence. It is in this situation that the exception becomes the rule. Agamben makes a comparison with the concentration camp and claims these shared mechanisms form the matrix of modern life.

The current pandemic emergency necessitated that everybody adjusts to a "state of exception" at short notice. The philosopher himself, immediately following the outbreak of Covid-19, sustained that the “unmotivated” fear around the pandemic was a mere stratagem to catapult us into a state of reduced and controlled biopolitical freedom. Certainly, the strength of the pandemic has accelerated the pace at which this exception is becoming a new normality. This shift made us reflect on change, crisis and resilience. Will this new normality continue once the emergency is over? What will the state of exception look like in this new normality?

The mantra of newspaper experts, virologists and thinkers is that life (which one?) will no longer be the same again after the pandemic. In Judith Butler’s Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly (2015) performativity and precarity are used to examine the politics of public assembly, and the importance of the bodily component, as well as that of the media. Recent demonstrations and protests in the time of the pandemic have proven the importance of the presence of the body, of expressions of collectivity, in public mass demonstrations. They prefigure the following questions: what will happen if bodies can’t unite to show their dissent? What are the consequences when bodies can’t reunite? Alongside Butler, theorists such as Byung Chul Han, with his Expulsion of the Other: Society, Perception and Communication Today (2018), have been thinking about these issues in relation to media and digital innovations. And these reflections, with a greater urgency than ever before, open questions around inevitable changes in artistic production. Artists like Alexandra Pirici and Melanie Bonajo, have been long preoccupied by these topics. What will the human, bodily and collective experiences be in an art space or institution under these conditions of exceptional change? How will art be produced? And, perhaps most significantly for the reflection on the sheer existence and survival of art itself, what does change in art mean?  

We invite papers which analyse art in a time of crisis, from the twentieth century to today. In particular, we invite scholars to reflect on the life of artworks in light of the notions of “bare life” and “exception” and to elucidate how consequences of exceptional moments in time were incorporated so as to become new cultural norms. We are also seeking for more speculative papers which contribute to advancing our understanding of art production in the state of exception during wartime, dictatorships, and/or any other form of economic or political constraint.

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OPERA-FANÌA: ON THE OSTENSIVE CONDITIONS OF CONTEMPORARY ART

The Greek-Latin suffix -fanìa is used to compose Italian words that imply a specific moment of appearing, of becoming visible. That moment determines how we perceive whatever emerges as visible. For an artwork, this moment is a fundamental part of its creation and production.
By definition, the ostensive entails the act of showing, displaying, exhibiting and demonstrating something. Intentional gestures of pointing or shifting to a specific position may draw attention to something. In folklore studies the term ostensive has been used to determine behaviours and legend-generating acts. Picking up from the distinction between iconicity—considered as representation—and ostension or indexicality—considered as presentation—in folklorist John McDowell’s mythic narrative, we invite scholars to investigate the ostensive in contemporary art production.
There are a wide range of options for how artworks can be shown. The perception and experience of an artwork is completely different depending on whether it is placed on a pedestal, hung from a nail, watched in a video, or encountered in performance.
In light of the current pandemic we have found it necessary to prioritise online venues and question anew the importance attributed to the artwork’s site of manifestation.

We invite papers which engage with these themes and respond to questions that include, but are not limited to, the following. How much of the presentation of the artwork is part of the artwork itself? How does the artwork change depending on its context and display? How would the shift from physical site to online encounter alter our perception of the artwork? What limitations does the online artwork have? Does it present or represent itself through the screen? How is the temporality of the artwork experienced by the viewer? Which senses does it involve? How much does the experience of contact with an original artwork count? And, last but not least, can an artwork viewed on a computer restore the idea of the pedestal?

Deadline for Abstracts: November 1, 2020
Acceptance of Abstracts: November 20, 2020
Submission Deadline: January 20, 2021  

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Authors should submit their articles by registering on the website and must follow OBOE's guidelines.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere.
There is no charge for submission. All articles are open-access, for which there is no fee. OBOE is committed to peer-review integrity and upholding the highest standards of review. Once your paper has been assessed for suitability by the editor, it will then be peer-reviewed by two independent and anonymous expert referees.