A good storyteller tells his tales from the beginning to the end, as a dramatised progression in time, where the reader is guided, with a steady hand, through the phases of the story. One-way communication. For the audience, this can be spell-binding. One gets carried away; led through the universe of the narrative along a well-composed and appointed route. This is the responsibility of the narrative. The confirmation of the narrator.
A dialogue, on the other hand, is more uncertain. Here, all the parties in the conversation are complicit in the formulation of meanings. The outcome is far more unpredictable. Open. The conversation winds in different directions and a great many circumstances determine what is spoken about and with what intensity. Feelings and moods.
The open work has similar qualities. The meaning is found in a kind of conversation between the public, the artwork and the artist. The work is dialogic. And interactive.
In France, they often use the term proposal instead of work. A suggestion. Etymologically, the term descends from the word for sketch: a temporary proposal for a work of art. But it serves as a suitable designation for the open work category I am interested in. The work as a proposal for a conversation. The beginning of a story.
From Where is your identity by Frans Jacobi, translated by Dan A Marmorstein
Image: Thomas Kilpper, A Lighthouse for Lampedusa!, Lanificio25, Piazza Enrico de Nicola, Naples, 2010