Photograph showing Henry Moore with his sculpture Reclining Figure and Mask
Henry Moore with Reclining Figure and Mask, c.1930

Read about the work of Carsten Höller, Henry Moore and David Musgrave in this issue, along with articles about the interpretation of art by Tony Bennett, Griselda Pollock and Donald Preziosi from the conference Interpretation, Theory & the Encounter held at Tate Britain on 9 July 2010. Tate’s current Social Media Communication Strategy is also presented.

In this issue

Research articles

Kate Macfarlane

This paper takes as its starting point two drawings by David Musgrave in Tate’s collection, Plane with inverted figure 2007 and Folded plane no.2 2009. It examines Musgrave’s motivation for employing traditional drawing techniques and investigates what the medium of drawing can offer an artist today.

Mark Windsor

This paper looks at the interactivity of Carsten Höller’s Test Site 2006, using Alfred Gell’s Art and Agency (1998) and Nicolas Bourriaud’s Relational Aesthetics (1998). In the first part Gell is used to examine the interactive relationships between artist and participants mediated by the slides, the aesthetic quality and political significance of which are then revealed in the second part with reference to Bourriaud.

Rothenstein Lecture
Anne Wagner

How do size and scale matter to the sculpture of Henry Moore? This paper offers a preliminary investigation of this question, pointing not only to the phenomenological and contextual implications of scale in sculpture, but also to some of the transformations in Moore’s studio practice that work at monumental scale demanded. On the one hand, these expansions brought his sculpture closer to the European tradition of sculptural making, in particular to the means of enlargement historically used within the sculptor’s studio; on the other, they saw him adopting new materials – polystyrene in particular – to allow him to operate efficiently, and in a conceptually more venturesome, and more unsettling way.

Tony Bennett

This paper examines the operations of post-Kantian aesthetic discourses as parts of cultural technologies that induct individuals into particular kinds of independent and critical reflexivity modelled on the autonomy of the work of art. While acknowledging the historical force of these technologies in producing a form of ‘guided freedom’, the paper reflects on their limitations, particularly as exemplified in the writings of the philosopher Jacques Rancière.

Griselda Pollock

Taking up analytical theorist and painter Bracha Ettinger’s argument that it is the destiny and desire of artworks to be interpreted, this paper explores the concept of ‘encounter-event’ as a model to move beyond the restrictive dichotomies of word and image, verbal and visual language, object and text, and into the politics of difference via an understanding of interpretation as a collaborative activity solicited by the artwork as an event that precipitates an encounter with difference and thus extends the viewer, rather than instructs them, in given scripts of cultural meaning.

Donald Preziosi

This paper considers a series of fundamental problems and paradoxes in accounting for interpretation in contemporary museum encounters, and explores the main contrasts between aesthetic and theological modes of encountering phenomena.

Reports and strategies

Jesse Ringham

This report provides an overview of Tate’s Social Media Communication Strategy, outlining the key objectives for each of its social media platforms.