The following observations, three in number, are first and foremost the result of my engagement with You told me. Work stories and video essays (2010), Magnus Bärtås’ practice-based doctoral dissertation in the field of fine art. In addition, they have benefited from my taking part, among the audience as well as on stage, in as many research seminars organized by the Faculty of fine, applied and performing arts at the University of Gothenburg.
The first one, Art text, took place in the fall of 2009 and resulted, among other things, in my first encounter with Bärtås’ notion of “work story” which I subsequently came to employ in my own dissertation. Two years later, The living archive further heightened my sensitivity to the common ground between research in the fine and the ‘not-so-fine’ arts – that is, the humanities. Writing with practice, third and last, gave me the opportunity to really grapple with the implications of Bärtås’ proposal.
Which, incidentally, brings us up to the present day and the present text. So, without further ado, here are my own, altogether personal conclusions regarding Bärtås’ research, art and criticism.
“Who told me – and why? Two or three things that I have reason to believe about Magnus Bärtås”, in Mika Hannula, Jan Kaila, Roger Palmer & Kimmo Sarje (eds.), Artists as researchers – a new paradigm for art education in Europe (Helsinki: University of the Arts, 2013), p. 116–122 (7 p.), ISBN 978–951–53–3469–5. Read the entire text here.