Visual Arts, the Web and Fiction
Two common aspects have a substantial impact on the relations of contemporary art with fiction. The first is the qualification of a work of art as suspended between reality and fiction. The second justifies this indeterminateness as the result of the trend of the world to become more and more a spectator on the sidelines, the lack of distinction between true experience and its representation. What is the overlap between these two aspects? What are the limits of the “all-fictional”? To what extent are the creation and collective experience of works contradictory, or on the contrary constitutive of a fiction? This question raised on the subject of contemporary art is particularly pertinent in the world of the Web. In order to perceive the complexity fiction can assume when networked, it suffices to consider the importance of on-line games, creator « of persistent universes », the recycling and requisition of traditional fiction, and the multiplication of fictional identities. In their location at the outer edge of standard fiction, artistic and visual works of fiction elicit our questions about the status of beliefs and the importance of representational levels in generating fictional universes. If we consider: filming a third take of a bank robbery under the direction of the author and chief thief (Pierre Huyghe); drafting, as a graphic artist, the actions of the heroin in a book that the author was inspired to write based on a model by this very same artist (Sophie Calle); juxtaposing several films and as many paths to one and the same event (Melik Ohanian); building a real three-dimensional space that mirrors the spectator’s space (Leandro Erlich); or, more simply, just depicting the painter’s siesta (Jean Le Gac), etc., aren’t these ways – each time different – of placing us within and facing the transition from one world to another? And of deleting the primacy of our ordinary world each time by opening the doors onto the very wide array of possible worlds?
Keywords: Fiction, Visual Arts, Web
Professor, Ufr Arts Plastiques et Sciences de l'art, Université Paris 1