Reception to launch the « Writing in Company » Rare Books Exhibition

Thursday, April 10, 2014 – 17:00 to 19:00

4th floor lobby, McLennan Library Building, McGill University

Organized by Interacting with Print

Interacting with Print, in collaboration with the Rare Books and Special Collections of McGill Library, launches the exhibition “Writing in Company. Forms of Collaboration in Artistic Works and Scientific Knowledge (1700-1914)” with a reception and special presentation, to be held from 5-7PM on Thursday, April 10, on the 4th floor of the McLennan Library Building. Hors d’oeuvres and light refreshments will be served. The presentation will begin at 6PM. Space is limited—we kindly ask that you let us know by April 9th if you plan to attend.

About the exhibition
In its production, as in its circulation, print relies on a web of institutional and personal interactions. Collaboration is integral to print’s very existence. This exhibition aims to demonstrate the essentially collaborative nature of print and thus call into question the commonly perceived equation, « one work = one author. »

Shaped by the contexts of sociability in which it takes place, collaboration factors into a wide array of practices, from simple parlour games to institutional protocol. It arises from the definition of a group identity, confirming this identity or questioning it through rebellion. As the expression of a community of thought, collaboration is inherent to scientific undertakings that surpass the competence of an individual, or of artistic visions that transcend disciplinary boundaries.

Whether concealed in anonymity or institutional patronage, or, on the contrary, revealing the signatures of all participants, collaboration invites us into a fascinating exploration of its innerworkings. Collective creativity occurs in delicate balance between unity and diversity, partnership and competition, equality and power. A more or less explicit reflection of interpersonal cooperation, collaborative work often contains, within the laboratory of its production, references to other works and themes. In this way, the complexity of collaborative projects is often increased through intertextual and intermedial dialogue, fostering the production of new works.

« Writing in Company » features examples of collaboration among writers associated with the rise of popular literature (novel and theatre), among writers and illustrators, among members of a salon, an artistic movement, a religious order, an academic institution or a scientific expedition. The performing arts may present the most striking example, illustrating how even the interpretation and the mise-en-scène become integral parts of the creative process.

Curators: Stéphanie Favreau and Adina Ruiu, under the direction of Marie-Claude Felton (McGill University), Ann-Marie Holland (McGill Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections), Nikola von Merveldt (Université de Montréal)
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