2011 Alfred Z. Solomon Residency: Art Criticism: Issues & Practice

This Residency will engage long-standing and recent debates on the nature and practice of art criticism. Monday, September 26 and Thursday, October 27, 2011.

About the Residency

Recent articles in the Village Voice (1/7/2009), Brooklyn Rail (4/2011), and Kunstkritikk (5/19/2011) among many others, and texts like Judgment and Contemporary Art Criticism (2011), suggest a “crisis” in the state of criticism, citing a critical “free for all” in which, in this digital age, an author’s credibility and a text’s standing are simply unknown. Thus it is an ideal time to bring noted critics and experts to campus and expand students' understanding of the complexities and potential of art criticism as a literary and cultural practice. Many Skidmore students like to write about art and even consider a career in art criticism, but are not aware of current issues in the field and wonder how they might break into it. This Residency will introduce them to art criticism’s theory and practice, and help them envision strategies for participating in critical discourse.

2011 Solomon Residency Schedule of Events

Lecture - “Talking Back to Artforum”
Monday, September 26, 2011, 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Payne Room, Tang Teaching Museum

Lecture by Nicolás Guagnini, “Talking Back to Artforum”

Abstract: Over the last fifty years, the demands and conditions of late capitalism have inexorably reshaped expectations surrounding the classical modernist artwork, especially with the emphasis in information generated by 1960s Conceptual art. The emergence of the artist critic represents a significant response to these changes. Artist writers rigorously and explicitly interrogated these terms, moving from an excavation of the white cube to a global critique of visual culture per se. For them, artworks and critique might trade places, merge, sometimes displace each other or - at the very least - offset each other. Taken together the efforts of artist critics challenged the presumed universality of the modernist subject, brought the specific identities and histories of artists and audiences increasingly to bear on contemporary art and rethought distribution and spectatorship with a strong emphasis in self-organization.

How has this affected artists' relationship to the critical reception of their work? What has changed and what hasn't in assimilation and legitimation processes? How do those changes operate within academic art historical discourse, institutional acceptance, and journalistic criticism? Within that context, I will try to challenge the critical reception of my last exhibition in the September issue of Artforum.

Thursday, October 27, 2011, 5:45 - 7 pm
Tang Teaching Museum

Student-oriented (but faculty welcome!) forum with Carly Busta ’01 on the state of contemporary art criticism and how to become an art critic.

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