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Mission Statement
Visual Poetics is a research group in theatre, film and related artistic media at the University of Antwerp, divided in 4 areas of research: performative, intermedial, artist's and textual poetics.
Artist's Poetics
Research marked by the tag Artist’s Poetics delineates an area of study in which the creative activities of the artist occupy a central place, not only as an object of academic inquiry but also as being generative of knowledge in its own regard. More than the final products, it is the progressive production of art and its eventual epistemological value that come into view here. The research group’s interest in Artist’s Poetics proceeds from the conviction that any categorical view that places theory in fierce opposition to art is unproductive and in fact not tenable, since creative and reflective strategies have been (and increasingly continue to be) fostered through fruitful interactions between artistic praxis and discursive theorizations. Artist’s Poetics therefore aspires to conjoin practice-based research with scientific academic investigations in order to gain a deepened understanding of the processes constitutive of the creation of art as well as to broaden the methodological scope of scholarly inquiries while maintaining scientific standards guaranteeing the quality of the research.
Intermedial Poetics
The research clustering around the subdomain Intermedial Poetics studies the various crossovers between theatre, film, dance and other artistic disciplines, as well as the interrelations between arts, technological media, popular culture, and science. Next to inquiries into the aesthetic and narrative principles of art works that are either implicitly or explicitly interdisciplinary and hybrid in nature, specific consideration is given to the mutual influence between societal evolutions on the one hand, and the development of arts and critical discourse on the other hand. Intermedial Poetics thus stands for a research focus necessarily broad in scope but whose coherence is assured through the overarching aim to uncover the specificities of art works and aesthetic experiences in relation to their cultural embedment and adjacent creative practices.
Performative Poetics
This line of research concentrates on the performative aspects of culture at large and art in particular. The notion of performativity, although differently defined in diverging fields such as linguistics, sociology and philosophy, generally implies an outspoken attention for the way in which both language and non-verbal expressions act rather than what they literally mean. The research group Visual Poetics accordingly circumscribes the subfield of Performative Poetics as inquiries into the artistic strategies that constitute the work of art and provoke a specific aesthetic experience. In addition to close studies of the workings and effects of artistic objects or events, Performative Poetics also includes a broader scope by taking the more general cultural conditions into account, both historically and contemporary, in order to uncover how theatrical procedures are adopted and exploited within socio-cultural phenomena.
Textual Poetics
The subfield Textual Poetics encompasses research into the manifold and changing artistic and discursive attitudes towards text, language and narrativity. Inquiries ranging under this rubric proceed in several complementary directions. Attention goes to traditional textual and narrative principles (such as causality, linearity, plot) that structure both theatre and film productions. Conversely, analyses of contemporary performance practices aim to chart the altered status of the text and the concomitant expansion of textual parameters with principles originally proper to the visual (such as juxtaposition or landscape). The research interest in Textual Poetics finally also results in metatheoretical questions dealing with rhetoric strategies in theory production, hermeneutic methodologies and productive tensions between textual discourse and artistic praxis.

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