Call for Papers: The Emancipated Referent

Thematic editors: José Capela (School of Architecture, Art and Design/Lab2PT, University of Minho, Portugal) & Ana Cristina Pereira (CES, University of Coimbra)

The communication mechanisms have been a central theme of the so-called “conceptual art”. Within the broad theme of communication — and despite the porosity of artistic categories characterising this kind of art — the specific theme of /visual representation/ assumed particular importance for artists. Millennia of pictorial figuration of reality, and decades of photography, were thus placed under scrutiny that, despite fitting into the work of art and not renouncing its /artistic/ condition, is often close to the mission of art theory or of semiotics. Art was, accordingly, set to serve the consideration of the phenomena — namely those of communication — that underlie it. For that reason, it may be said to be a self-reflexive art: art about art.

In this new issue of /Vista/, we propose to focus on the entity linguistics has called “referent” and on the possibility of its resurgence beyond its mere representation — a territory that extends from the impossibility of absolute fidelity to the model (is it in the lack of fidelity that art may reside?) to the characterisations aiming at manipulating, distorting and abusing.

Much importance has been given to the most diverse form of art works’ receiver as a producer of meanings for those works. Importance is given to this phenomenon that lies downstream of the work and ultimately determines what it is to our eyes. The aim here is to highlight what lies upstream: the entity that precedes the representation and whose presence that representation intends to replace, in this case, in the specific context of the visual arts and images. This perspective may include themes such as:

·the representation of /visual configuration/ mechanisms within artistic practices;

·the condition of the referent (absent or present) in the context of visual representation;

·the rights of the referent and iconographic ethics: between self-representation and appropriation;

·the possibility of inserting the /readymade/ in a work/image;

·animism in visual representation;

·memory, trauma and the possibility of emancipation of the referent.

Important dates

Full article submission deadline: April 30, 2022
Journal publication date: continuous edition (January to June 2022)


Articles can be submitted in English or Portuguese. After the peer review process, the authors of the selected articles should ensure translation of the respective article, and the editors shall have the final decision on publication of the article.

Editing and submission

/Vista/ is an open access academic journal following demanding peer-review standards, based on a double-blind review process. After submission, the papers will be forwarded to two reviewers, previously invited to evaluate them according to their academic quality, originality and relevance to the journal’s objectives and scope.

Originals must be submitted through the journal’s website If you are accessing /Vista/ for the first time, you must register before submitting your article (instructions for registration here

The guidelines for authors are available here

For further information, please contact: (vista /at/

No payment from the authors will be required.