Manifesto

  1.  Never send to know for whom they speak, write or toll. Peel your eyes, open your ears: they speak, write, and toll for thee.
  2. Travel light. Do not hoard. Shake off the unnecessary. (“Take away the elements in order of apparent non importance” (The Game).
  3. Be voracious in reading but … go back to #2.
  4. Pursue self-reflexivity and re-contextualization.
  5. If you are prone to crumbling under questioning – have no fear – crumble! You will rebuild yourself later. You will rebuild yourself stronger.
  6. Friendly critiques are friendly. Seek the ferocious ones: they will kick you off-balance. That is the best position for a new start.
  7. Do not dismiss aggressive critiques/ critics. They have a point/position. Find out what that is.
  8. Crisis is an inevitable step in critical and self-critical process.
  9. If you hesitate between a facade touch-ups and demolition in your practice – go for demolition: “deep inside you know you deserve it!” (Joyce Lindermulder, 2010, 2011)
  10. Embrace the idea of kenosis – self-emptying in the spirit of openness to signals from above. Remember: new truths can strike at any time. Be radically open.
  11. “Judgement needs a critical ethos beyond a friendly set of checks and balances. It needs to be repeatedly deconstructed from within” (Tirdad Zolghadr, 13)
  12. Never shy away from questioning the questions, critiquing critics, and judging judges. Make sure the feedback you receive is really useful.
  13. Dissolve sugar-coats. Get to the core.
  14. Eleventh hour aspect is a friend, not a foe. Under pressure – act, do not idle.
  15. Chat over drinks with those who read annotations only. Have long conversations with those who indulge in reading from cover to cover. Always take notes.
  16. Learn how to use your work as a conveyer, not as a container (Atom Egoyan, 26).
  17. Never start your statements with “I might be mistaken but…” Speak up only when you have something to say. Noise is a major pollutant.
  18. Re-evaluate you own position as often as needed. Never sleep on it.
  19. Admire great innovative projects of others. Spread the word. “Create new audiences” (Kristina Lee Podesva, 124).
  20. Count yourself in. Not only others put things on the map. You do too.
  21. Asap: Decide whether your research is practice-led or theory-driven.
  22.  “Welcome professional uncertainty, apprehension and interruption as good, clean, crazy fun” (Tirdad Zolghadr, 20).
  23. Self-centeredness is not self-indulgent: talk about yourself. “We have nothing but our better or worse selves through which to process the world” (Tom Morton, 35).
  24. Do not try to squeeze your life-story in a 15 minutes presentation. Describe a project instead. Let them ask questions.
  25. Follow the model of critique offered by Kristina Lee Podesva:

a. Describe what you see/ experience in a piece

b. Offer your interpretations of the piece

c. Come up with questions clarifying the artist’s intentions

d. Receive the artist’s answers; discuss them

26. Go back to square #2. Often.

Works Cited:

  1. Egoyan, Atom. “Surface Tension”, Image and Territory, Toronto: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2006.
  2. Lutticken, Sven. “A Tale of Two Criticisms” from Khonsary, Jeff, O’Brian, Melanie, eds. Judgement and Contemporary Art Criticism. Vancouver: Artspeak and Fillip Editions, 2010.
  3. Morton, Tom. “Three or Four Types of Intimacy” from Khonsary, Jeff, O’Brian, Melanie, eds. Judgement and Contemporary Art Criticism. Vancouver: Artspeak and Fillip Editions, 2010.
  4. Lee Podesva, Kristina, ed. “Panel One” from Khonsary, Jeff, O’Brian, Melanie, eds. Judgement and Contemporary Art Criticism. Vancouver: Artspeak and Fillip Editions, 2010.
  5. Zolghadr, Tirdad. “Worse than Kenosis” from Khonsary, Jeff, O’Brian, Melanie, eds. Judgement and Contemporary Art Criticism. Vancouver: Artspeak and Fillip Editions, 2010.

 

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