Figuring Fiction is a blog about the points of intersection between contemporary visual art and contemporary literary fiction. Drawing from a wide range of artistic practices as well as from novels and short stories, it approaches the relationship between texts and images from multiple angles, both analogical and oblique. Most directly, the blog will offer attentive readings of recent novels—including Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World, Michel Houellebecq’s The Map and the Territory, and Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers—addressing how they engage aspects of the contemporary art world directly. Posts will consider books that strategically employ ekphrasis, using specific artworks as key figures: for example, Ben Lerner’s 10:04 (Christian Marclay’s The Clock), and Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian (Walter de Maria’s The Lightning Field). Other primary subjects will include books that tie into contemporary art practices, that use the specific sites of recent art history as setting, or that cast fictional artists as main characters.
Claire Daigle is a writer, art historian, and teacher. She was a Helena Rubenstein Fellow in Critical Studies at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1999. She teaches contemporary art and theory at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her essays and reviews have appeared in X-TRA, Tate Etc., Art Papers, New Art Examiner, Sculpture, and the Brooklyn Rail. She is currently working on a book-length manuscript that traces the manifestations of dust and crystal (salt, sugar, snow) in modern and contemporary art.