Documents 22. The Artist’s Novel

Workshop with David Maroto

From 15 to 19 November 2022 - Check programme
Aimed at Fine Arts, Humanities, Art History and Literary Studies students, as well as writers, artists and people working in culture

Free, until full capacity is reached, with prior ticket collection by filling out the following form until 5 November, specifying personal details and reasons for participation

Nouvel Building, Study Centre, and Sabatini Building, Garden
12 people
Organised by
Museo Reina Sofía

The Documents programme explores the relationships between art and publishing, exploring themes that include the effects of archive on narratives of art history, the artist’s book and publishing as an artistic practice. This new edition holds a workshop conducted by David Maroto, whose work investigates the artist’s novel as a new medium.

Participants will work together to create and produce a novel written collectively — customarily an individual endeavour — addressing not only the writing process but also other tasks such as editing, correcting and disseminating a text. The aim is to experiment with tools and notions which, despite being traditionally attributed to literature, can also be used to underpin an autonomous artistic project. By the same token, and in the form of a coda, the workshop will explore the performative nature of the collective novel with a public presentation in different spaces inside the Museo.

Visual artists such as Bernadette Corporation, Keren Cytter and Yayoi Kusama are increasingly writing novels as part of a broader artistic project. The use of novelistic resources facilitates an exploration of artistic questions and, therefore, allows us to speak of the artist’s novel as another medium in the visuals arts, like video or performance. As David Maroto’s investigations verify, the process of creating such a novel does not differ from any other work — the writing process and artistic creation both converge inside the same project. In an artist’s novel, the reading of the final result is important, yet crucially the artistic experience lies behind the scenes. This workshop digs deeper into the latter: into the act of creating.

David Maroto is a visual artist, writer, curator and researcher who lives in the Netherlands. He has developed a far-reaching international artistic practice, exhibiting in spaces such as Kanal Centre Pompidou (Brussels, 2021), A Tale of a Tub (Rotterdam, 2020) and EFA Project Space (New York, 2013), among others. Since 2011, he has collaborated with the curator Joanna Zielińska on the project The Book Lovers, which focuses on research into the different ways the artist’s novel is employed as a medium in the visual arts, organising exhibitions, public programmes, commissioned projects and publications. He is also the author of The Artist’s Novel: The Novel as a Medium in the Visual Arts (Mousse Publishing, 2019).

Financiado por la Unión Europea


Tuesday, 15 November 2022 – 9:30am – 1:30pm / Nouvel Building, Study Centre
Session 1

Introduction to the content of the workshop: the artist’s novel; collaborative writing strategies; a quick exercise in individual writing; reading and collective feedback.

Wednesday, 16 November 2022 – 9:30am – 1:30pm / Nouvel Building, Study Centre
Sessiom 2

A collective selection which includes work on the core narrative elements, the creative strategy of collaborative organisation and formal decisions. In this session the collective writing process gets under way.

Thursday, 17 November 2022 – 9:30am – 1:30pm / Nouvel Building, Study Centre
Session 3

Continuation of the collective writing process.

Friday, 18 November 2022 – 9:30am – 1:30pm / Nouvel Building, Study Centre
Session 4

Collective editing of the draft and preliminary preparations for the performance presentation.

Saturday, 19 November 2022 – 10am – 2pm / Sabatini Building, Garden
Sesión 5

Performance presentation of the collective novel inside the Museo’s public spaces. Workshop evaluation.