Interpretation is involved in artistic practice at the most basic levels. In theatre, for instance, it intervenes when the director reads the text, when the actor interprets the same text, producing a version of the text that ultimately represents the performance. In music, interpretation is the prerogative of the composer, the conductor, the performer and equally the musicologist, the score and musical notation being just as many cultural components subject to interpretation. In the visual arts, the current artistic production involves the examination of certain situations (social, political, environmental, artistic, etc.) and the interpretation (political, anthropological, geological, historical, but also formal) of some fragments of cultural discourse including anything from the details of pre-existing images to ruins, documents, testimonies or geological evidence – which become the subject of artistic research. In all these fields of creation, artistic interpretation is therefore constructive, productive, creative. The interpretive process creates not only meanings but also new cultural products. Yet, at the same time, the same hermeneutic process is responsible for the preservation of the cultural heritage and for its update.
The present conference opens a multidisciplinary field of debate on the processes and theories of artistic interpretation used in research carried out in the visual arts, music and theatre. Interpretation is understood both as a semiotic process, as an act of (cultural) translation and as a creative process, being used as a heuristic tool by contemporary artists. What meanings of interpretation do we operate with in artistic research, today? What relationships can be detected between the critical, exegetical interpretation and the one made by artists in the process of artistic research? Are the theories of language and reading still privileged methodological tools for analyzing the field of contemporary artistic production and communication? If they have lost their centrality, what have they been replaced with? What is the methodological contribution of interpretation in the doctoral research process? What types of interpretation are used not only in theorizing art, but also in the artistic practice itself, assuming that the latter is in turn capable of exercising its own form of knowledge and understanding of the world?