Thais Kuperman Lancman

4F Contemporary Ekphrasis
Session 4 – July 2, 15:30 – 17:30

Contemporary Ekphrasis: New Categories for a New Context

The concept of ekphrasis has been largely discussed over time, changing its relation to the idea of enargeia to a restrictive concept of literary representation of works of art, and once again broad conceptions, whether it could be considered representation of works of art under any language, such as musical ekphrasis or works of art represented in film, or the representation of any visual object (artistic or not) in the verbal form (literary or not). Our research is focused on a rather strict concept of ekphrasis, the representation of works of art in fiction, but also broad, due to the wide spectrum of possibilites of forms and themes of contemporary art. By the analysis of Enrique Vila-Matas’ The Illogic of Kassel, we present to categories of ekphrasis that contemplates contemporary art and its presence in literature. The first category, relational ekphrasis, focuses on works of art that somehow are related to relational aesthetics, according to Nicolas Bourriaud, which means an emphasis on art as duration, and the artist as a proposer of an experience that develops also in therms of relationships between the artist and the visitor through its work, and also between visitors. The second category, curatorial ekphrasis, observes not only the curatorial choices of an exhibition as a target for the ekphrastic text, but also how curatorial practices, once part of the artistic procedures in so many contemporary works of art, are transferred to the literary text. 


Thais Kuperman Lancman is a PhD student at Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, in São Paulo, Brazil(CAPES grant), and currently a reserch intern at Universidade do Minho in Braga, Porugal. Her thesis topic is contemporary ekphrasis in the works of Enrique Vila-Matas and Orhan Pamuk. Lancman holds a Master’s Degree in Jewish Literature (Fapesp grant), with a research on Saul Bellow, at Universidade de São Paulo, in São Paulo, Brazil.