Karen Schiff

Rhode Island School of Design, U.S.A

Artworks, Writing,

     and (Marriage) Proposals

A work of art is a non-propositional form of writing, yet it still makes a proposition. The artwork “proposes” that it is worth looking at; it offers itself for the viewer’s “engagement”. Given that the artwork’s proposal is not structured like a verbal proposition or thesis-driven argument, I will call it a “marriage proposal.” In this short presentation, I will explore how this framework can enrich the project of writing about a work of art. I will emphasize the value that this framework gives to non-cognitive dimensions of art. Art’s genesis in animate consciousness gives us a foundation on which to imagine a one-to one structure of relation with a human viewer.