What’s Happened to Art Criticism?

by Paula Newton April 10, 2017

L-R: Davison Scandrett, Silas Riener, Claudia La Rocco and Rashaun Mitchell in Taste, a site-specific performance and installation by Mitchell and Riener, in collaboration with La Rocco and Scandrett. Costumes by James Kidd. Presented at the BFI Gallery in Miami, in collaboration with the O, Miami Poetry Festival. Photo: Gesi Schilling.

This Wednesday, April 12, Houston’s DiverseWorks will present a lecture entitled “Criticism is Dead. Long Live Criticism.” by Claudia La Rocco, poet, critic, performer, and editor-in-chief of SFMOMA’s Open Space.

The conversation about art in Texas has long been a tricky one, as Glasstire’s Christina Rees addressed late last year in her article “Glasstire and Negative Criticism in Texas.” Her piece begins:

As I travel around and talk to people in the various Texas art scenes, I hear two common refrains about art writing. One is that there is not enough negative criticism here. The other is that Glasstire is too critical.

Which is it?

About Wednesday’s lecture, La Rocco says:

The demise of traditional criticism has long been rumored. But of course it continues, in various fits and starts, alongside platforms that (need it be said?) make everyone a critic. What now is the role of this tradition of public thinking out loud within current public discourse, which seems at once ever-more expansive and ever-more diminished (or at least fractured)? Here are a few attempts at answering this very big question (which is actually a series of questions), drawing on my years as a writer and editor. These attempts will likely be oblique. They might not work. The elucidation of ideas is, after all, a dicey business.

The program starts at 6:30pm. For free tickets, go here.

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