Thursday, June 23, 2005
Critics needed; inquire within / low pay, few friendships, but important role to play
In an ideal world, yes. A schooled writer, in a perfect world, would visit Artspace and analyze the use of the space and write about it. The show by local artists in Coolspace would also get its turn under the purview of a critic. Performances would br reviewed, too. How else to know, really, how well we're doing?
Times writer Alex Kent, a schooled critic who is sent out to write about plays and symphony concerts, has asked for feedback about the role of the critic. The Times has printed a goodly array of letters - see the June 23, editorial page - on the importance of critical reviews.
A year ago the Times killed all reviews after a long history of providing next-day feedback about a variety of arts performances. This year editor Alan English has brought reviews back. I applaud English for repairing the damage and for offering the community a high level of discourse.
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As much as I treasure the art of evaluation, it cannot be my role to write as a critic at SptBlog. The reasons are twofold: a) I want to make and display my own art. I want to participate. The ideal critic is one who is fully an observer. b) I have too many friends in the art community. A proper critic should not be inhibited by a plethora of connections.
That said, I would like to encourage readers to submit critical reviews to SptBlog. As a small example of what I'm thinking, please see my self-review of Cirque du Trudeau, my recent Coolspace production.
There's been a big outpouring of art lately. And much of the art being shown is not terribly worthy stuff. If there were a good critic writing about why certain pieces are accomplished and why other pieces are in need of improvement, we might see significant growth on the part of local artists.