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Call for papers

Vol. 8 July-December 2015

Irony as an Artistic Strategy of Resistance

Coordinator: Marian de Abiega Forcen

Call for contributions open from October 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015

[…] humor is comedy that has lost its bodily weight […].  It cast doubt on the self, on the world, and all the whole network of relationships that are at stake.”

Ítalo Calvino[1]


This issue of Nierika proposes that we consider art as the condition of possibility for an “other” logic from which we can explore the world.  Irony as an artistic strategy and aesthetic resource facilitates the critical distance necessary to account for the diverse forms of relating subjectivities explored in contemporaneity.

Valeriano Bozal proposes the Necessity of Irony (1999) as a form of artistic resistance in the face of what have become the two founding principles of modernity: the picturesque that becomes kitsch, directed by consumerism, and the sublime that subsumes the subject in totalitarianism. “The ironist”—this author indicates—“is not apocalyptic” but rather introduces the ability to doubt, and highlights the simulation that has been the result of those modern principles.

Ítalo Calvino, in turn, in Seven Proposals for the Next Millenium (1988), focuses on “lightness”, as one of his preferred qualities in literature and explains how his work in creating fiction has consisted in removing weight from narrative and from language. Through close attention to writing he defines “lightness” as the cunning of indirect vision that liberates us from the weight of living, and the ingenuity of the “poet-philosopher” who demonstrates through agility of thought how the frivolous becomes weighty.

This call for contributions for Nierika focuses on the analysis of the ironic attitude in some contemporary artists—as a political tool that aims to disarm stereotypes and question certainties—calling on critical references such as Baltasar Gracián and Goya, whose display of intelligence was, paradoxically, an attempt to envision a more hospitable world.

The historiographical project of revision of this category still in construction, takes as its starting point the recurrence of irony in art, and serves as a theoretical and methodological standpoint from which we can question the double-voiced structure of discourse, the importance of the context—the rules of production and reception—of the codifier and decodifier in order to become privy to a certain intentionality, the self-reflexivity that provokes this poetic, the intertextual relations and appropriation—as repetition with critical distance--,the different tonalities of humor, the different meanings of criticism, the diverse strategies utilized and the condition of authorized transgression  of this artistic practice. 

Our aim is to reflect on irony as a symptom of contemporary artistic production from a transdisciplinary perspective that provokes reflection. Although the call for contributions is focused primarily on the study of irony in contemporary art, research that considers this subject in other historical periods is also welcome, as long as the approach is from a contemporary perspective. 


For guidelines for contributors please consult:



and to send manuscripts or for any other questions, please write to


[1] Italo Calvino, “Lightness” in Six Memos for the Next Millenium
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