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Sundberg, Martin: "The Collapse of the Word–Image Dichotomy. Towards an Iconic Approach to Graphic Novels and Artists’ Books." In: Konsthistorisk tidskrift/Journal of Art History 86.1 (2017), S. 31–44.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Sundberg2017
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Keywords: Intermedialität, Künstlerbuch
Collection: Konsthistorisk tidskrift/Journal of Art History
Artists’ books and graphic novels are both media where word and image merge. Indeed, these works need to be considered as entities so as to adequately discuss how users relate to them. Since definitions of artists’ books are multifarious, and theoretical attention is scarce, the author discusses various approaches and proposes a more theoretical method from an intermedial perspective based on iconic and literary theory. One major possibility is to regard the paratextual elements, and a claim might be that the harder it becomes to distinguish between text and paratext, the more likely it is that the work is an artists’ book. Bringing graphic novels and artists’ books together in this study serves to underline the fact that the word–image dichotomy collapses, and that these media demand a consideration of their intermedial qualities. Focus shifts constantly, resulting in a destabilisation of the structures; there is no hierarchical relation between the media and modalities involved. A coherent understanding becomes hard to achieve, for example, explicit in the fact that it is so hard to summarise these works. This necessitates, it is argued, a formalist approach focusing on the iconic structure of the entity (i.e. the codex as material object, sequence and page) as a point of departure before venturing towards fully fledged interpretations of the contents encountered.
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