Espaces du blanc : concepts et pratiques

"White" (or "blank") is a major concept for thinking the relationships between writing and figure. It refers, without being reduced to it, to the medium on which text and image are inscribed in the space of the book, print, painting or wall.

Often approached in the West as a void or a lack opposed to the materiality of the figure or the written sign, it remains likely to assume an enunciative, semantic and plastic role that artists and writers have often used and that is still worth being discussed. As a constitutive link between figures and graphics and a syntactic separator - rhythmic pause or logical segmentation -, it provides a legible surface which allows and even demands the active participation of the reader / spectator.

For this reason, it occupies a major place in the thought of Anne-Marie Christin, whose critical work strongly invokes notions of "interval" and "blank" (fr. "réserve"). Other thinkers have approached the concept of white or blank space according to different epistemological orientations (let us think about François Cheng, Louis Marin, Jacques Derrida, Jean-François Lyotard) using concepts such as breath ("souffle"), spacing ("espacement"), virtuality, resistance.

As an extension of the conference Writings V.Writing systems, literary imagination (2015), this symposium aims to explore the richness of the concept of white and the multiplicity of challenges it raises in the study of mixed forms associating figure and support. More than its cultural uses and its symbolic codes as a colour, we will focus on white/blank as a space and a form to be interpreted. The vocabulary of white (linguistic comparisons and cultural constructions), the aesthetic and semiotic theories of white, the empty/full relationship in the creation, functions and uses of blanks in systems of writing are some of the issues that will be raised.

In consistency with the CEEI's perspective, the conference will host papers covering different periods, cultures and geographic areas.

Organizing Committee : Hélène Campaignolle-Catel (CNRS/UMR THALIM), Marianne Simon-Oikawa (Université de Tokyo/UMR THALIM). 

Scientific Committee : Violaine Anger (Université d'Évry Val d'Essonne / CERCC-Centre d'études et de Recherches comparées sur la création), Claire Akiko Brisset (Université de Genève), Claire Bustarret (CNRS, Centre Maurice Halbwachs), Yoon-Jung Do (Université INHA, Incheon, Corée du Sud), Florence Dumora (Université de Paris), Jacques Dürrenmatt (Sorbonne Université), Paul Saenger (Curator or Rare Books, Collection Development Librarian, Newberry Library).





4, 5, 6 February 2020


Institut national d'histoire de l'art (INHA)
6 rue des petits champs, 75002 Paris.
Room Vasari


UMR THALIM (CNRS / Sorbonne Nouvelle)

The Universtity of Tokyo

Centre d'étude de l'écriture et de l'image (CEEI)

Inscription au colloque

L'inscription est nécessaire pour assurer au colloque :

- à distance: un lien de connexion sera envoyé la veille aux inscrits

- en présentiel: dans la limite des places disponibles selon la jauge Covid de la salle Vasari. 

Les conditions d'accès seront susceptibles d'être modifiées selon les conditions d'accès de l'INHA. 

Pour les inscriptions au colloque, merci d'écrire à l'adresse suivante :

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