RÊVE (Romantic Europe: The Virtual Exhibition): Creative Brief

RÊVE (Romantic Europe: The Virtual Exhibition) is soliciting creative responses to the 100 objects currently being amassed within its online showcase see: RÊVE: The Virtual Exhibition

The objects within RÊVE – ranging from artefacts through relics, buildings, and landscapes – have been selected as iconic of the transEuropean dimensions of Romanticism from c. 1780 through to c. 1860. The exhibition as a whole effectively argues that uncovering and amassing the microbiographies of such objects reveals how such objects came to embody ideas and affect, and that telling their stories reveals how those ideas and affects variously endured and/or transformed across different European contexts, geographical and historical.

It has become plain, however, that some of these objects have become almost mute or invisible with the passage of time, while others have continued to exert often inexplicit emotional effects. The project therefore wishes to explore the power or pathos these Romantic objects might still exert in and for the present, drawing on long-established traditions of response to objects, artworks, places, and monuments exemplified, to take a single instance, by the many poems inspired by the graves of John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley at Rome.

To this end, we are inviting writers, artists, and sound-artists to engage with and respond to an object of their choice from the exhibition. These original creative responses will form individual exhibits within a designated ‘creative collection’.

Exhibits may adopt any literary, visual, or acoustic form to bring an object to life, give it a voice, or imbue it with presence or immediacy. Word-count should not exceed 1000 words, audio-visual material should not run for longer than 2 minutes, digital creations should also be short-form. We are open to verse, prose, travel-writing, monologue, object autobiography, imaginary conversation, guidebook entry, postcard, letter, fable, riddle, photography, still-life, animation, cartoon, silhouette, textile, book-art, aria, sound-art, instrumental piece, installation, place-specific performance video – or any other suitable short form.

What to do if you are intrigued by such a challenge: 

  1. Explore the exhibits presently displayed in RÊVE at RÊVE: The Virtual Exhibition
  2. If anything takes your fancy, write to Nicola J. Watson at nicola.watson@open.ac.uk to express an interest and discuss possibilities and parameters.