- Never send to know for whom they speak, write or toll. Peel your eyes, open your ears: they speak, write, and toll for thee.
- Travel light. Do not hoard. Shake off the unnecessary. (“Take away the elements in order of apparent non importance” (The Game).
- Be voracious in reading but … go back to #2.
- Pursue self-reflexivity and re-contextualization.
- If you are prone to crumbling under questioning – have no fear – crumble! You will rebuild yourself later. You will rebuild yourself stronger.
- Friendly critiques are friendly. Seek the ferocious ones: they will kick you off-balance. That is the best position for a new start.
- Do not dismiss aggressive critiques/ critics. They have a point/position. Find out what that is.
- Crisis is an inevitable step in critical and self-critical process.
- 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)
- 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.
- “Judgement needs a critical ethos beyond a friendly set of checks and balances. It needs to be repeatedly deconstructed from within” (Tirdad Zolghadr, 13)
- Never shy away from questioning the questions, critiquing critics, and judging judges. Make sure the feedback you receive is really useful.
- Dissolve sugar-coats. Get to the core.
- Eleventh hour aspect is a friend, not a foe. Under pressure – act, do not idle.
- 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.
- Learn how to use your work as a conveyer, not as a container (Atom Egoyan, 26).
- Never start your statements with “I might be mistaken but…” Speak up only when you have something to say. Noise is a major pollutant.
- Re-evaluate you own position as often as needed. Never sleep on it.
- Admire great innovative projects of others. Spread the word. “Create new audiences” (Kristina Lee Podesva, 124).
- Count yourself in. Not only others put things on the map. You do too.
- Asap: Decide whether your research is practice-led or theory-driven.
- “Welcome professional uncertainty, apprehension and interruption as good, clean, crazy fun” (Tirdad Zolghadr, 20).
- 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).
- Do not try to squeeze your life-story in a 15 minutes presentation. Describe a project instead. Let them ask questions.
- 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.
- Egoyan, Atom. “Surface Tension”, Image and Territory, Toronto: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2006.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lee Podesva, Kristina, ed. “Panel One” from Khonsary, Jeff, O’Brian, Melanie, eds. Judgement and Contemporary Art Criticism. Vancouver: Artspeak and Fillip Editions, 2010.
- Zolghadr, Tirdad. “Worse than Kenosis” from Khonsary, Jeff, O’Brian, Melanie, eds. Judgement and Contemporary Art Criticism. Vancouver: Artspeak and Fillip Editions, 2010.