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Gajdoš, Roman, 2010.
Trnava : Typi Universitatis Tyrnaviensis/VEDA.
129 s. ISBN 978‑80‑8082‑355‑9.
The publication with the title “Conceptual Text/Genesis and Metamorphoses” deals with the issue of conceptual text which since the second half of the 20th century constitutes an individual expressional form of visual arts. It defines and specifies the two basic features of conceptual text – intextuality and outtextuality – and based on their basis subsequently follows subgroups of work with linguistically oriented branch of conceptual art. At the same time, the work tries to analyse and classify conceptual textual techniques on the platform of the relation of image and text and also on the basis of formal‑semantic attributes. At the same time, it offers the outline of differentiation between the phenomenon of conceptual text and terminology, expressing ways of experimental poetry and thereby specification and grasp of its basic terminological specifications and characteristics that are a basis for a definition of the term conceptual text itself. The work tries to clarify already existing terminology that concerns language based conceptual tendencies emerging since eighties and nineties.
In the first chapter, the author focuses on the origin and main features of conceptual art while his attention is oriented towards the narrower language based branch of conceptualism where he defines the main term – conceptual text – as an autonomous visual Gestalt in the scope of image field that is created by the lexicon of conceptual and post‑conceptual thinking. This is created on the base of two aspects of consideration. The first one is the system of new communication, which follows from the changed status of this kind of art referring to the change of in the meantime valid patterns of representation. The second one is the relationship between an image and a text, which in the context of visual culture and in comparison to majority formalistic painting, can be assessed as a collapse of modernism. Subsequently, the work tries to find presumptions of origin of conceptual text in the art history. Since the influence of cubism through inherent contribution of Marcel Duchamp, whose ready‑mades raise the question of art function, until the formal independence of the text in Zrada obrazov – the key work of René Magritte; and ending by pop art influences creates brief intersection of textual thinking in fine art. At the same time, this chapter has an attempt to unseat conceptual art to wider philosophical – linguistic context and on the basis of semiotic theory of Charles Senders Pierce perceives works using conceptual text on the sign level and it also places in to the antipole to image thinking.
The issue of relation between the image and the text is deepening in the second chapter, which has an attempt to define the relation between these two systems of representation. When we define a conceptual text, we always define it in a relation to image area, that is reduced to the zero value but its absolute absence does not change the fact that assumption of image lasts even in radical conceptual works. Conceptual efforts for uncompromising omission of aesthetics and also an image as a supporting pillar of in the meantime predominantly painting creative expression could not omit the relationship that is still present between the word and the image. This relationship is in the classic conceptual thinking defined by the absence of the image, its penetrative absence what however does not mean that it would have disappeared. The visual or spectacular form of the work to be refused, reduced or absolutely avoided, it must be in the form of topoi latently present in the preceding experience, convention or cultural memory. Further, this chapter tries to exclude any synthetic and aesthetic ambitions of a conceptual text.
These facts that are closely connected with the change of the system of representation and intermedia shift from image thought to textual thought and again result in distinction of conceptual text from experimental poetry in the third chapter. Even if the work tries to partly overlay them and does not try to build dogmatic barriers, it considers as essential to put an emphasis on the opposite orientation out of which these two phenomena emerge. While the conceptual art is related to the language of artistic (in this sense also an image though that it negates at the same time), experimental poetry tries to cross the classical scope of textual rules of poetry and projects its further superstructures into the level of image. This type of thinking wants to prevent from mutual terminological contamination between conceptual text and experimental poetry the same as its common inclusion under the general level that is usually labelled as art of text or art working with writing.
The fourth chapter determines key categories of the work – the qualities of conceptual text labelled as intextuality and outtextuality. These are outline qualities of a text or the degree of the quality of which the text is saturated, the way of thinking of individual authors about a text, that is closely connected with concrete visual or mental displays. “Out” expresses a certain degree of language expression. It is a scheme of a natural communication, the ability of language to make reference and to direct our attention to reality. One of the basic communication attributes where the relationship between designator and designated works the same as in the classical talk, and where the code of all texts work with equals to the communication code of a percipient. “In” in the first plan means an orientation into itself. This orientation does not mean certain linguistic entropy but reprogramming of a communication code. This is about surpass of the responsibility of language to carry the information, deviation and deposition of its meaning that can pursue in the same rate in textual and also image way. These two in outline dimensions of the text are abstract and in certain extend mean their overlapping that is why we can not understand them as a binary opposition.
On the base of this terminology, the publication tries to monitor procedures that are typical for work with conceptual text and on this basis tries to create fundamental division. Probably, the broadest group constitutes tautology texts that cover conceptual expression since its beginning until the current positions. Tautological textual record fully constitutes image field while the key function plays autoference of the work and its significant redundancy.
Zero texts are, to a certain extent, a subgroup of tautology texts and at the same time substitute an image record by a textual record. In their heart, they are directed neither at art investigation by strictly analytical way nor at direct critique of imagery in the form of dematerialization of the work. The basic feature of these texts is the investigation the differences between what is thought and what is seen. Many times those are independent words that exist as autonomous entities and are immersed into own structure.
Notification function of text in it’s the most basic level in the sense of communication channel, which is used for transformation of information, is typical for announcements and transfer texts. In these texts do not occur any semantic‑formal transmissions heading to destruction of language that could somehow corrupt the former code in which the information is saved and subsequently delivered.
The quotations and intertexts are an important complementarity of work with text that we notice in postmodernism. In the publication, they are understood identically with naratology theories as a complex of textual relations with other texts whether obvious or hidden.
The fifth chapter on the basis of rematerialization, which enters in conceptual art since eighties, follows repeated inclusion of imagery level into the work with conceptual text, the same as destruction of communication code on behalf of individual mental and visual handwriting. Thus contaminated texts are formed for which neoliberal level of reading, segmentation of a text, simultaneity of textual plans, horizontal or vertical mode of reading the same as more evident balancing on the boundary between a text and imagery are typical.
The introduced typology does not represent the closure of the presented issue of a conceptual text but on the contrary its opening and origination of a platform for a critical discussion.