Series of public lectures: How Critical Is the Condition of Critical Writing?

School for curators and critics of contemporary art
Season 15 and 16

How Critical Is the Condition of Critical Writing?

How Critical Is the Condition of Critical Writing?
A series of public lectures and a workshop: March 2016 – January 2017

This year we will continue with How Critical Is the Condition of Critical Writing?, a reflection on the current role and status of criticism in visual arts and culture conceived last year, with a new series of lectures.

The reflection proceeds from the awareness that art criticism is an important part of the art system that makes it possible for art to fully fulfil its social role; but because art criticism is gradually disappearing from traditional media, changing in accordance with the digitisation of the media and the democratisation of cultural production, and losing its position in the “power relations” within art field, its role and position are becoming increasingly more unclear.
This year, our point of departure is last year’s conclusion that it makes more sense to talk, not about the crisis of criticism, which manifest in criticism that has drifted significantly from its traditional format, but rather about new forms of critique.

Lectures on changes in contemporary critical and theoretical production will be given by: Thijs Lijster, Ekaterina Degot, Maja Breznik, Izidor Barši & Kaja Kraner (ŠUM), and Antonija Letinić. We will begin with a short historical overview of art criticism, and then, by analysing various factors of the so-called crisis (of the identity) of criticism, redirect the discussion to “new spaces” for critique. We will take a look at how criticism has been transformed in accordance with technological changes from the printed to the digital, as well as in accordance with different politico-economic circumstances, the changing art production and institutional changes in the art field itself. We will try to explain how art criticism today is embedded into the art system and into the process of institutionalising art, and we will trace the position of art critics themselves. Our interest will especially focus on whether there is anything positive that the current state in the field of criticism can nevertheless bring and what is needed for these new “embodiments” or “spatialisations” of criticism to emerge.

The programme How Critical Is the Condition of Critical Writing? will be concluded in January 2017 with a workshop on critical writing in contemporary art by Jennifer Allen and Martin Jaeggi.

More about the programme

This programme is being part of the World of Art, School for Curators and Critics of Contemporary Art; and prepared by SCCA–Ljubljana & the Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory.

Svet umetnosti / World of Art Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory

Lectures and workshops will be partly in English and partly in Slovenian.

Partners: Department of Art History, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, and UGM – Maribor Art Gallery.
Filozofska fakulteta Univerze v Ljubljani UGM

Supported by: City of Ljubljana – Department for Culture, ERSTE Foundation, and Goethe-Institut Ljubljana.

Mestna občina Ljubljana – Oddelek za kulturo Erste sklad Goethe Institut