Laura Davidson

Laura Davidson


Thesis Title

What is the nature of the “something else” that art writing uncovers, and how does it contribute to our understanding of art history and cultural discourse?


Lancaster University


Nathan Jones
Charlie Gere

Research Summary

Art writing has emerged as a practice adjacent to contemporary art and features in the practices of significant British artists. Art writing as genre moves between fiction, art history, criticism, theory, and autobiography.

So, instead of saying: here is the theorist and this is what they think (theorist, date), art writing says: look at Hegel: he is a skeleton, and he is hiding in a cupboard terrorising students, (Katrina Palmer, ‘The Dark Object’) or here is the theorist: watch his body decompose in a lecture theatre (Linda Stupart, ‘Virus’), and here he is again, let’s stalk him (Chris Kraus, ‘I Love Dick’).

By engaging in this oblique approach art writing tells us something else about the experience of encountering the canon. This project aims to describe what that something else is, and use art writing itself as a methodology for working through the meaning(s) of art writing’s texts and its analogues.

Research Interests

coming soon


‘Basic Art’ chapter in ‘Autotheory and Its Others’ (forthcoming). Santa Barbara, California: punctum books.

‘The School of Sculpture Without Objects: Representations of Academia in Art Writing’, Re-Considering British Art History: The ECRN and DRN Summer Symposium, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, 2022.


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