Tuesday, May 31, 2016

[Yasmin_discussions] Mercado Central Exchange: yearning for a new art criticism ?

From: Joanna Griffin <jomagriff@gmail.com>

Dear all,

To add to the comments of Liliane Lijn and Chris Fremantle, I yearn for the intellect of Rosalind Krauss and Leo Steinberg to help contextualise what the activity of artists encountering science as laboratory, as scientist, as activity, history, dress-sense, soundscapes, cultures, etc.... tells us about more elusive shifts. What is made more visible? The articles by Krauss that I now read on microfiche from the 70s and 80s point to how artistic practices make visible more elusive shifts in conditions in the world in which we live. It is perhaps that refocus provided by artworks as catalysts that is missing in commentaries

In thinking (nostalgically) about the absence and role of the art critic, in 2002 the UK-based curator Claire Doherty wrote very perceptively about my work and it was incredibly useful for my own professional development, but in a sense it also modelled interpretation and the intellectual depth to which artists pitch when making work. I wonder if other artists embarked on PhDs, like myself, to do the job of articulating context, articulating the "frame of reference for understanding" that Chris Fremantle mentions is so valuable, specifically because of the absence otherwise of adequate written reflection. In particular an absence in the face of the practices considered in this list, and the need to think carefully about the shifts that artists have made (not to mention anthropologists) towards the critical interpretation of aspects of science and technology.

It seems a luxury now to have another person take the time to do such critical appraisals that provide as Chris Fremantle has written "the way the artist hears back." At the same time writing by artists takes new turns. But its also relevant to think about how artists with curators and art agencies have shifted audience inside their work, and the extent to which this is a pattern for artists responding to and engaging with science. I know this was something I did to provide access to an experience and to bring 'audiences' with me on the journey, so shifting to a more participative approach. That was one solution, anyhow, and the solutions keep changing! In terms of this discussion though, I can link the loss of the reflection of the art critic to a re-structuring of the mechanisms for reflection by 'persons-formerly-known-as-audience' on and through creative practice.

best wishes,

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