| tag: Warsaw

Issued by CCA Ujazdowski Castle & The Book Lovers.

Application deadline: 24 January 2016.

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The Book Lovers
a project about artist novels by David Maroto (DAI, 2013) and Joanna Zielinska.
More info in:

If you are searching for the Frequently Asked Questions, please scroll down.

The Novel As Fantasy open call is an opportunity for visual artists to submit a proposal for the creation of a new artist’s novel. There are many artists who have written novels, but the artist’s novel is something else: it is a medium in the visual arts. It is a contemporary phenomenon in which visual artists employ their novels within their broader projects, as they would employ installation, performance, or video. Here, the creation of a novel doesn’t differ from any other artwork. Both processes, writing and art-making, feed each other as they evolve within the same body of work. In an artist’s novel the reading experience is part of the work, but it does not constitute the entire artistic experience. The narrative expands beyond the space of the page to take place in a body of work that belongs to the same art project.

Proposals should describe an art project in which the creation of a novel occupies a central position. Project proposals that employ this medium in unexpected, creative ways will be given preference. For example, the artist must not necessarily sit down and write her novel on a piece of paper. Instead, she can opt for using artistic tools, such as performance, public events, installation, collaborative strategies, appropriation, and so on, in order to produce the narrative fiction text, to generate innovative conditions of readership, and/or to alter conventional notions of authorship.

The selected project will start in April 2016 and will finish in December 2017, with the final presentation in CCA Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw and the publication of the artist’s novel. Proposals are encouraged to engage with the process and not only with the final result, and to include a plan to render such a process visible to an audience. The selected artist should develop the project primarily in CCA Warsaw, always in communication with The Book Lovers curators. For this, CCA’s residency program will be available to host the artist during the necessary production periods.

On offer
- Production budget for the art project.
- Final presentation of the art project in CCA Warsaw.
- Assistance and accompaniment through the process, producing intermediate stages: exhibitions, events, partial publications, etc., or whatever is required for the project’s development.
- Publication of the artist’s novel.
- Artist’s fee.
- Temporary residencies in CCA Warsaw throughout the project, with individual living and working space.
- The use of CCA’s facilities upon discussion with the curators (exhibition spaces, ‘black box’ theatre/performance space, cinema theatre, library, education room, Studio MDM project space, Cysterna project space, etc.).

How to apply
Please send a PDF document (ONE file in English) with:
-Your proposal for the art project and artist’s novel in one A4 (max. 500 words) + 1 image.
-Description of your art practice with any relevant background in one A4 (max. 500 words) + 1 image.
-Your contact details (country of residence, website, phone number, skype address).

Please label the document as follows:
your surname_your name_title of your project.pdf

Please send your proposal in an e-mail attachment to, until 24 January 2016 (23:59, Warsaw time).
Before you e-mail us with your questions, please check the Frequently Asked Questions, below.

The selection procedure consists of two rounds that take place in February–March 2016. All applications are considered in the first round, during which a shortlist from the submitted proposals are selected. In the second round, the selection committee (consisting of The Book Lovers and CCA internal advisors) invites the shortlisted candidates for an interview in March. After that, the selected project will be announced. Applicants who do not receive communication after 20 February 2016 are not shortlisted. Unfortunately, we cannot correspond with each unsuccessful applicant.


- What is an artist’s novel?
The artist’s novel is a medium in the visual arts. The artist employs the novel exactly as video or performance, for example. Even though it might relate to a literary tradition, it is produced in the context of the visual arts. The artist’s novel is part of an art project, which may be constituted by different media, among which the artist’s novel usually occupies a preeminent position. It follows that reading the artist’s novel alone would not give a full account of its contents. It is necessary to situate it in the context where it originates: the art project and the artistic processes employed.
The artist’s novel expands the narrative beyond the space of the page to take place in a body of artworks that belong to the same art project. The connection between them is imbued with a shared narrativity, although, individually, they don’t need to be narrative.
However, the artist’s novel is a concept still in development, and so not completely defined. Each new work using this medium contributes to define the medium itself. Thus, we welcome proposals that make an innovative and unexpected use of this concept.

- Where can I find examples of artist’s novels?
You can check The Book Lovers’ database hosted by M HKA.
We find the following works particularly relevant: Gerry Bibby’s The Drumhead (2014), Goldin+Senneby’s Headless (2015), Jill Magid’s Failed States (2012), Mai-Thu Perret’s The Crystal Frontier (1999–), Roee Rosen’s Sweet Sweat (2009), Lindsay Seers’s It Has To Be This Way (2009), Benjamin Seror’s Mime Radio (2015), Cally Spooner’s Collapsing in Parts (2013), and Alexandre Singh’s The Marque of the Third Stripe (2008), among others.

- I am not a visual artist, can I apply?
Sure, as long as your project envisages the creation of an artist’s novel approximately as outlined in these paragraphs.

- Can I propose a graphic novel?
We consider proposals that conceive the novel as a piece of narrative fiction that, although it could contain images, is mainly driven by textual means. The use of images and sound takes place in other works of the same art project.

- What length should my artist’s novel have?
We accept novels, from 60,000 words onwards, and novellas, between 20,000 and 60,000 words.

- In what language should I write my artist’s novel?
Preferably in English. Other languages may be possible as well, but this should be justified by requirements of the project and upon discussion with the curators.

- What is the production budget?
The global budget for The Novel As Fantasy is EUR 30,000 / PLN 140,000, not including artist’s fee but including everything else: ALL production and publication costs, CCA costs, residency, travels, etc. Please plan along these lines but consider that the final budget will be agreed after the proposal is selected.

- How does the CCA residency work? Do I need to be in Warsaw all the time?
We expect the project to be developed primarily in CCA Warsaw. By default, we consider a reasonable plan to spend a few weeks in the residency every 4–5 months between April 2016 and December 2017. This plan is flexible and can be adjusted to the needs of your specific project.

- What am I supposed to use the time of the residency for?
This is not intended to be solely a writing residency. You can use these periods to progress the production of both your art project and the artist’s novel. For this, you can make use of CCA’s facilities and resources (spaces, equipment, technicians, and so on) upon agreement with the curators.