Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Arts Criticism links round up

As I am doing the WAI Critics Development Scheme for the next 6 months, there will probably be some posts full of links relating to that on this blog for a little while. Here is the first:

"a reviewer is entitled to be spiteful as long as she is honest". How rude should theatre critics be? Michael Billington's response to that Lynn Barber case. More on this here:

In Wales I think a lot of what Patrick McGuinness says in this Wales Home Article from January 2010 is still very relevant:

Especially: 'the ordinary reader who relies on mainstream Welsh media is being short-changed. It’s not a question of just sticking a few arts events in a ‘listings’ section, it’s about developing a reviewing culture that doesn’t assume – patronisingly – that ‘ordinary people’ can’t or don’t want to discuss arts or books or music, or discover the literary and artistic heritage of the place they live in. The arts coverage in most English regional papers or TV and radio stations is superior – more literate, more open-minded and more perceptive – than what we have in English in Wales.'

Arty Bollox? So how do you write a good art review then? 

Well it is 12 years since Brian Ashbee ranted about Art Bollocks in Art Review. Still in 2011 Emma Gelliot has some ideas in her blog on art in Wales. She quotes a variety of other interesting/ funny comment from TALK REVIEW: A Beginner's Guide to Art Bollocks to David Berridge talking about the future of art criticism on AXIS. Cheers Emma. 

AXIS have other rants on criticism too: 'Can anyone do the job of art critic? Should writers think twice about giving bad reviews, potentially damaging an artist's career? And who are they written for anyway? We welcome back Josie Faure Walker to The Rant.'  Josie links to Jonathan Jones' 2009 Guardian article 'Art criticism is not a democracy' in which he states:

The reason so much average or absolutely awful art gets promoted is that no one seems to understand what criticism is; if nothing is properly criticised, mediocrity triumphs. A critic is basically an arrogant bastard who says "this is good, this is bad" without necessarily being able to explain why. At least, not instantly. The truth is, we feel this stuff in our bones. And we're innately convinced we're right.'

'Critics are born, not made. I don't know why I became convinced that I had more to say about art than other people, and an opinion that mattered more than most. But I did decide that – and persuaded others to listen.'

For Axis news on art in Wales visit:


Critical condition:

I have recently discovered, which has some top contributors writing for it:

Should Radio drama be more realistic?

How many National Theatres does one nation need? NTW and NTS in discussions at Edinburgh festival:

Edinburgh festival: Critic's Choice:

Alexis Petridis on how to write the perfect pop review:

and other Welsh Arts News:

Seren Books gets global recognition for Booker longlisting:

The Welsh Music Prize has arrived:

Joe Dunthorne's 2nd novel Wild Abandon gets a good review:

No comments: