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I often hear this term "afirmated artists" or sometimes "non-afirmated artists", but I couldn't find meaning in the dictionary. What exactly could it be?

See, for example, the International Festival of Student Theatre and Multimedia 2010

Participants can be students, young non afirmated artists, professionals or non professionals. Main criteria for selection will be, as it was in the past, the quality of work, dedication in exploring your own creative potential and social engagement that attributes artistic creations of students (young people).

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closed as too localized by Mark Beadles, Andrew Leach, Robusto, Mitch, tchrist Jan 6 '13 at 1:45

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Please provide some context. Where do you hear it? In what sentences? Is the term online anywhere so you can link to it? Is that the right spelling? –  Andrew Leach Jan 5 '13 at 22:12
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It looks like a Russian English phrase that doesn't exist, in that form, in American or British English. I suspect a bad translation somewhere. –  simchona Jan 5 '13 at 22:17
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@simchona You may be right: a number of occurrences online appear to be Croatian/Russian/East European. However, here's one apparently from San Diego CA -- although even he has an East European name. –  Andrew Leach Jan 5 '13 at 22:34
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OK, but "approved artist" doesn't mean much either. Currently I think this fits the criteria for Not A Real Question. Far more detail on context is needed. –  Andrew Leach Jan 5 '13 at 22:57
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@DonBranson Only about as much as in the question. "Amateur, professional, afirmated and non-afirmated artists". It may well mean "approved", but there's not much to go on about what that approval is. –  Andrew Leach Jan 5 '13 at 23:43

1 Answer 1

This may be a misheard or miswritten version of non-affirmative art, referring to the Michael Foucault's Ceci n'est pas une pipe, a study of the painting of René Magritte. The title of Chapter 6 is “Peindre n’est pas affirmer”, which the English translation renders “Nonaffirmative Painting”.

 . . .classical painting spoke – and spoke constantly – while constituting itself entirely outside language; hence the fact that it rested silently in a discursive space; hence the fact that it provided, beneath itself, a kind of common ground where it could restore the bonds of signs and the image.
 Magritte knits verbal signs and plastic elements together, but without referring them to a prior isotopism. He skirts the base of affirmative discourse on which resemblance calmly reposes, and he brings pure similitudes and nonaffirmative verbal statements into play within the instability of a disoriented volume and an unmapped space. A process whose formulation is in some sense given by Ceci n’est pas une pipe.

A non-affirmative artist would be one who seeks to subvert the rationalizing categories of speech and employ his art to render, through paradox and self-reference, the inadequacy of those categories.

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All the references online to afirmated artist -- and there are quite a few -- are in the sphere of music. –  Andrew Leach Jan 5 '13 at 23:28
    
@AndrewLeach It never occurred to me that it might be an actual word-in-use! Well, let it stand as a monument to my hybris. –  StoneyB Jan 5 '13 at 23:47

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