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Biography and turning points in Europe and America$
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Karla B. Hackstaff and Feiwel Kupferberg

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428608

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428608.001.0001

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date: 22 August 2017

Unpacking biographical narratives: investigating stories of artistic careers in Northern Jutland, Denmark

Unpacking biographical narratives: investigating stories of artistic careers in Northern Jutland, Denmark

Chapter:
(p.9) One Unpacking biographical narratives: investigating stories of artistic careers in Northern Jutland, Denmark
Source:
Biography and turning points in Europe and America
Author(s):

Feiwel Kupferberg

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847428608.003.0002

In this chapter, Kupferberg’s examines empirically the process of becoming an artist in Northern Jutland in Denmark, while engaging theoretical and methodological debates. He argues that analysing artists in terms of sociological concepts like “careers” is not enough. He illustrates how the methodological tension between the arts and social sciences on the construction of knowledge can help reveal that the narrative method—including accounts of turning points— is a communicative act that may be located in the interstices of interaction. Importantly, he reveals that key turning points may remain unspoken—a kind of evidence largely overlooked in research. He shows that turning points depend on networks of interaction, and one of the more significant turning points in an artist’s career is when another establishes a permanent collection of the artist’s work—though this is never actually stated. He argues that turning points and ideas like creativity will be better understood by sociologists, the more that they open their analyses to communication; he contends that communicative acts in art tend to be disinterested and direct, in contrast to social science, where they tend to be definitive and reflexively purposive.

Keywords:   Artistic careers, turning point, Pierre Bourdieu, Thomas Kuhn, Pierre-Michel Menger, narratology, Denmark

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