Student launches journal to bring art to life in printed pages

A University PhD student has successfully launched her own art journal to provide a platform for debate and discussion between young and more established scholars and to explore contemporary art and exhibitions.

Camilla Salvaneschi created, produced and launched an open access, peer-reviewed academic journal, OBOE (On Biennials and Other Exhibitions) while completing her studies.

Dr Salvaneschi, who has now passed her viva, came to the University of Aberdeen as part of a partnership with luav University in Italy.

Having worked in the art field in Italy and internationally, and as a managing editor for a publishing house specialised in artists’ books, she had a long-held dream to create her own magazine.

This vision first began while she was studying for her MA in Visual Arts from the Iuav University of Venice when she realised her passion for bringing exhibitions to life not only in galleries or palaces but through the printed pages of books and magazines.

“While writing my MA thesis and afterwards, when working for different magazines and publishing houses, I had always dreamt about what ‘my’ magazine would look like, how it would be structured, who would write in it, and so on,” said Dr Salvaneschi.

“Of course, these early ideas looked nothing like OBOE journal.”

Dr Salvaneschi came to Aberdeen in 2017 to begin her PhD studies, drawn to the ‘Scottish skies’ and an opportunity to undertake a joint PhD programme with Iuav University.

“After visiting the University of Aberdeen and meeting my two future-to-be-advisors, Professor  Amy Bryzgel and Dr Silvia Casini, I had no doubts. It was thanks to them, and  former head of School Ed Welch and my Italian advisor Professor Angela Vettese, that we were able to create an agreement with the two universities and I was able to start my three years of postgraduate research in Aberdeen,” she added.

"The idea for the journal was born within my PhD studies, in collaboration with Angela Vettese, director of the journal. Together with her and the journal's co-editor Clarissa Ricci, we conceived it as an academic art journal that, unlike independent or mainstream magazines, had to respond to certain rules and guidelines which allowed me to get closer to the contemporary academic publishing system."

“Its purpose is to propose a study that would look at exhibitions, not just as places to exhibit but as worlds that generate culture.

“The journal intends to investigate the ever-changing relationships between works and spectators in periodic exhibitions as well as their cultural politics, expanding its scope towards the exhibitionary in a broader sense. This includes the moment of exposition, when the artwork, understood as an activator of multiple layers of perception composes our experience of the infinitely complex contemporary moment.”

Professor Chris Collins, Head of the School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture, said: “Dr Salvaneschi’s practical project for her PhD research is an impressive achievement.

“To complete a written dissertation alone is a challenge, but to do so and also design, create and launch an academic, peer-reviewed open access journal that is the first of its kind to focus on Biennales and exhibitions, is truly outstanding. The journal will be a crucial resource for scholars going forward, and is pathbreaking in its scope.”

OBOE can be viewed at