Most simply: self-authorship refers to the fact that artists make, or are behind the making of, their artwork. The time of the making of an artwork, as well as the times at which the work is viewed, always affect the interpretation and critique of a work. This is temporal narrative. It occurs in all artworks. Temporal narrative also refers to art historic references within artworks, whereby the work of an artist is possible because of the work of a predecessor, art flanuers, or an artist’s contemporaries. Eventually, one question persists, what is left for an artist to make today? The ‘what’ of such statements disguised as questions can be anything from a myriad of options. Selfauthorship relates to the interplay of how the author comes to the decision from the question ‘what is to be made?’ This decision is fed from all sorts of influences as the author / artist does not conceive, create, or present works made from thin air, nor from a point of isolated genius. Temporal narrative is always present in a work of art as the contemporary surroundings of an artist intersect with the historic situation and reality of past events to influence the shape, form and concept of any new piece of art. The interplay of self-authorship and temporal narrative can be considered as one critical framework for examining any artwork. This is by no means an attempt to make redundant or to cancel out other modes of interrogation, nor to strictly prioritize authorship above or below temporal aspect. The exploration of the conditions and interactions of self-authorship and temporal narrative allow for one version of an understanding of any work of art.
Candidate Master of Visual Arts, Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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