CRIT CROSS: A Forum on Art Criticism

CRIT CROSS #7

CRIT CROSS is an open discussion group of current writing about art. It has the aim to create a platform for the sustainable promotion of art- and sociocritical dialogue as well as art-related topics in Vienna. Furthermore it aims to promote the ability to read and exchange critically.

 

The premise of the project is that art texts are part of a social discourse, which also lives from direct exchange and that critical reflections on art and society are essential at a time when art is under pressure of justification in the face of shrinking resources and political change.

 

CRIT CROSS takes place in the form of six meetings per year, for which texts from international and national art magazines such as Artforum, Frieze, Texte zur Kunst, Artpress, Monopol, Kunst, Spike, Camera Austria, Eikon or Springerin are selected, prepared and discussed. Occasionally, texts from newspapers such as Der Standard, F.A.Z., N.Z.Z. or New York Times are also being selected. 

 

Twice a year, international critics are invited to put their own texts up for discussion in order to allow the Viennese audience a direct exchange with international representatives of art criticism.

The events take place in Viennese art and cultural institutions (mumok, Belvedere 21, Depot).

 

 


Text selection

 

Texts are proposed by participants. The call for submission of text proposals takes place at the end of the previous session, a reminder per mailing list follows at least four weeks before the meeting, two weeks before the text selection will be announced.

 

From the proposals, three texts are selected for a two-hour open discussion, considering a balance between formats (essay or exhibition criticism, etc.), authors, as well as national and international art criticism. Although the classic format of the exhibition criticism should not be neglected, the selected texts are intended to open the discussion to a larger artistic or social context and thus also be relevant for readers who are unfamiliar with the exhibition or artists discussed.

 

Texts explaining, discussing or problematizing the tendencies of contemporary art or society should be given special consideration, so that not only experts can get involved in the discussion.

 

Depending on the participants, the discussions take place in German and/or English. 

 

 

 

The program is supported by the 3. and 7. District of Vienna.

 

Thursday, 13. June, 6:30pm

mumok, museum of modern art

Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna

 

From Portraits to Language

 

Can empathy materialise as visual art? When is a realistic painting the only ethical representation? What pictures are prisoners entitled to? And…What is International Art English? Is it pornographic? And is it populistic to ask art writers to avoid it?

 

These are some of the questions we will discuss in this session. In other words: This Crit Cross is about portraits. And about language.

 

Most importantly: it has a foreign guest, Hatty Nestor, who is currently a critic in residence at Studio Weisses Haus in Vienna. Hatty just finished Ethical Portraits, a book about pictures of prisoners.

We will discuss her “Facing future feelings: The portrait of Chelsea Manning”, an essay which will appear in the book and was first published in The White Review in 2018. “There Are No More Ports For Flying Dutchman.

 

On the Populism of the IAE Critique”, the second text we will discuss in this session was written by Chris Buden for Die Springerin. In it, Buden revisits the influential essay “International Art English” (IAE) published in 2012 in Triple Canopy, in which Alix Rule and David Levine argue that the artworld has developed its own version of English. According to Buden’s analysis the argument against IAE is anti-elitist in a way typical of populism of the Make America Great Again kind. 

 

The texts can be accessed here:

 

Facing future feelings: The portrait of Chelsea Manning by Hatty Nestor, The White Review, March 2018 

 

Es gibt keine Häfen mehr für den Fliegenden Holländer. Über den Populismus der „IAE“-Kritik by Chris Buden, Springerin, Heft 2/2019 (the English original of the text will be made available online by Springerin before Crit Cross)

 

Crit Cross #7 is realized in collaboration with the mumok library and Studio Weisses Haus.

 

 

 

CRIT CROSS #6

 

Friday, 12. April 2019, 6:00pm 

FRANZ JOSEFS KAI 3
1010 Vienna

 

Special Edition: Manifestos

 

For its sixth edition, Crit Cross organizes a special program, hosted at FRANZ JOSEFS KAI 3 in the context of Francis Ruyter’s exhibition “Hurricane/Time/Image” curated by Mohammad Salemy.
 
 

The two texts for Crit Cross #6 are:

 

The Critique of Art Criticism, by Sabeth Buchmann and Isabelle Graw,Texte zur Kunst.

(Thanks to Pia-Maria Remmers for this suggestion!)

 

In it, the question is raised whether the discrimination performed in art criticism is necessarily a problematic one.

 

The Xenofeminist manifesto, by Laboria Cuboniks

(Thanks to Mohammad Salemy for this suggestion!)

 

An older text where issues of discrimination are also at stake, but are being tackled from a different perspective:

 
Both manifestos are conveniently available in English and German, however they are rather long and not suited for a reading on the spot, so – even if oral summaries of the texts will be provided at the beginning of the session – we especially encourage you to already read them before the meeting.
 
 
 
 
 

CRIT CROSS #5

 

Friday, 15. February 2019, 6:30pm 

Belvedere 21
Arsenalstraße 1, 1030 Vienna

 

The four texts for the Crit Cross #5 are:

 

The Athens Biennale Negligently Satirizes the Aesthetics of the Alt-Right by Dorian Batycka, Hyperallergic, 7.12.2018.

(Thanks to Aleksei Borisionok for this suggestion!)

 

Batycka criticizes the Athens Biennale for what he considers superficially referencing « a bevy of well-known contemporary tropes including post-truth, accelerationism, overidentification, and corporate aesthetics » and piling up references. His hyper-critical review calls for a critical discussion, especially as many of the points he mentions are by no means unique to the event. 

 

“Happy trees” and culture-death by Julia Friedman, The New Criterion

(Thanks to Patrick Schabus for this suggestion!)

 

Julia Friedman takes an interest in the attempt to canonize Bob Ross, a well-know American painter famous for teaching painting on TV. While this is a seemingly specialized question, the article asks the more general question what criteria of admission to the art historical canon should be and when concessions to popularity are warranted.

 

Bruce Nauman. Cosmogony and the clown: on the occasion of Nauman’s PS1/MoMA retrospective by Philippe Parreno, 4 Columns

(Thanks to Kimberly Bradley for this suggestion!)

 

Parreno’s review is not only interesting because it is an artist’s review of a show by another artist, but also because he asks questions about the format itself as he wonders how to write.

 

Working without the pressure of success. Wider den sexistischen Vorurteilen im Kunstbetrieb by Martina Schöggl, Arts of the Working Class, No. 4,

text at the event and on request beforehand.

(Thanks to Marianne Dober for suggesting Arts of the Working Class!)

 

Schöggl’s short text tackles the subject of sexism in the art world, ending with a call for action and offering a hands-on approach which are worthy of discussion.

 

 

 

CRIT CROSS #4

 

Thursday, 6. December, 7pm 

mumok, museum of modern art 

Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna

 

The three texts for the Crit Cross #4 are:

 

Der Angriff der Gegenwart auf die Historie by Matthias Dusini, Falter 45/18, 7.11.2018. 

(Thanks to Fiona Liewehr for her suggestion!)

 

Die Beauty und das Biest by Matthias Dusini, Falter 43/18, 24.10.2018.

Dusini’s texts invite a critical reflection on the role of museums as public institutions and the prize they pay in their quest for new audiences in Austria and beyond.

 

One Take: Invitation to Freedom by Lou Cornum, Frieze, No. 199, November-Decemer 2018.

 

Lou Cornum’s text about a performance by Rebecca Belmore appeared in Frieze’s edition on decolonialization. It asks questions about art audiences, identity and the relationship between art and politics, introducing a completely different, but not less relevant, discussion than the two texts by Dusini.

 

 

 

CRIT CROSS #3

 

Tuesday, 2. October 2018, 7pm 

Depot – Raum für Kunst und Diskussion
Breite Gssse 3, 1070 Vienna

 

For its third edition, Crit Cross is inviting an international curator, Zarina Muhammad from the critics collective The White Pube, founded by her and Gabrielle de la Puente in 2015.

 

As a duo and individually, they have introduced the emoji review, the baby essay, Twitter and Instagram criticism and do podcasts and youtube. Recently, they were on the Dazed & Confused 2018 Dazed 100 list for “the people whose moment is now”. They criticize white artists who put black bodies on display in galleries, have their word to say about Turner Prize nominations and speak up whenever they feel something is going wrong in the art world. Their reviews are permeated by personal experience instead of simulating objectivity and they make all their incomes public on their website.

 

The two texts for Crit Cross #3 are:

 

* the position paper B2B OBJ// SUBJ// ECTIVITY

* review of Tai Shani @ Tramway for Glasgow International to learn how the position plays out concretely.

 

 

CRIT CROSS #2

 

Friday, 13. July 2018, 6:30pm 

Belvedere 21
Arsenalstraße 1, 1030 Vienna

 

The two texts for Crit Cross #2 are:

 

Let’s be clear: “We are at war” by Mohammad Salemy, Ocula

(Thanks to Christoph Chwatal for his suggestion!)

 

Conversation between Steffen Mau and Uwe Vormbusch, Texte zur Kunst

(Thanks to Sabeth Buchmann for her suggestion!)

 

 

 

CRIT CROSS #1

 

Thursday, 24. May, 6:30pm 

mumok, museum of modern art 

Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna

 

The three texts for the first Crit Cross are:

 

Kunst: Der zwiespältige Boom der Privatsammlungen in den Museen by Nina Schedlmayer, Profil, 13.2.2018.

 

Nina Schedlmayer critically reflects the practice of exhibiting private collections in public museums 

(English translation available on request at critcross@verein-k.net).

 

Why is there no criticism in fashion? by Jack Self,  Spike 55, Spring 2018.

 

Jack Self argues that art has lost its role at the forefront of contemporary culture.

 

Anselm Kiefer and Leon Golub: Separate and Together at The Met Breuer by Cathy Nan Quinlan, Talking Pictures, 27.4.2018.

 

Cathy Nan Quinlan discusses the absence of women in Kiefer’s and Golub’s art and the impossibility for German artists to „recreate‚ the amber waves of grain‘ so a new generation can see them, really see them and find new meaning in them“, without being accused of being a Nazi.

 

 

 

 

CRIT CROSS #7

 

Thursday, 13. June, 6:30pm

mumok, museum of modern art

Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna

 

From Portraits to Language

 

Can empathy materialise as visual art? When is a realistic painting the only ethical representation? What pictures are prisoners entitled to? And…What is International Art English? Is it pornographic? And is it populistic to ask art writers to avoid it?

 

These are some of the questions we will discuss in this session. In other words: This Crit Cross is about portraits. And about language.

 

Most importantly: it has a foreign guest, Hatty Nestor, who is currently a critic in residence at Studio Weisses Haus in Vienna. Hatty just finished Ethical Portraits, a book about pictures of prisoners.

We will discuss her “Facing future feelings: The portrait of Chelsea Manning”, an essay which will appear in the book and was first published in The White Review in 2018. “There Are No More Ports For Flying Dutchman.

 

On the Populism of the IAE Critique”, the second text we will discuss in this session was written by Chris Buden for Die Springerin. In it, Buden revisits the influential essay “International Art English” (IAE) published in 2012 in Triple Canopy, in which Alix Rule and David Levine argue that the artworld has developed its own version of English. According to Buden’s analysis the argument against IAE is anti-elitist in a way typical of populism of the Make America Great Again kind. 

 

The texts can be accessed here:

 

Facing future feelings: The portrait of Chelsea Manning by Hatty Nestor, The White Review, March 2018 

 

Es gibt keine Häfen mehr für den Fliegenden Holländer. Über den Populismus der „IAE“-Kritik by Chris Buden, Springerin, Heft 2/2019 (the English original of the text will be made available online by Springerin before Crit Cross)

 

Crit Cross #7 is realized in collaboration with the mumok library and Studio Weisses Haus.

 

 

 

 

CRIT CROSS #6

 

Friday, 12. April 2019, 6:00pm 

FRANZ JOSEFS KAI 3
1010 Vienna

 

Special Edition: Manifestos

 

For its sixth edition, Crit Cross organizes a special program, hosted at FRANZ JOSEFS KAI 3 in the context of Francis Ruyter’s exhibition “Hurricane/Time/Image” curated by Mohammad Salemy.
 
 

The two texts for Crit Cross #6 are:

 

The Critique of Art Criticism, by Sabeth Buchmann and Isabelle Graw,Texte zur Kunst.

(Thanks to Pia-Maria Remmers for this suggestion!)

 

In it, the question is raised whether the discrimination performed in art criticism is necessarily a problematic one.

 

The Xenofeminist manifesto, by Laboria Cuboniks

(Thanks to Mohammad Salemy for this suggestion!)

 

An older text where issues of discrimination are also at stake, but are being tackled from a different perspective:

 
Both manifestos are conveniently available in English and German, however they are rather long and not suited for a reading on the spot, so – even if oral summaries of the texts will be provided at the beginning of the session – we especially encourage you to already read them before the meeting.
 
 
 
 
 

 

CRIT CROSS #5

Friday, 15. February 2019, 6:30pm 

Belvedere 21
Arsenalstraße 1, 1030 Vienna

The four texts for the Crit Cross #5 are:

The Athens Biennale Negligently Satirizes the Aesthetics of the Alt-Right by Dorian Batycka, Hyperallergic, 7.12.2018.

(Thanks to Aleksei Borisionok for this suggestion!)

Batycka criticizes the Athens Biennale for what he considers superficially referencing « a bevy of well-known contemporary tropes including post-truth, accelerationism, overidentification, and corporate aesthetics » and piling up references. His hyper-critical review calls for a critical discussion, especially as many of the points he mentions are by no means unique to the event. 

“Happy trees” and culture-death by Julia Friedman, The New Criterion

(Thanks to Patrick Schabus for this suggestion!)

Julia Friedman takes an interest in the attempt to canonize Bob Ross, a well-know American painter famous for teaching painting on TV. While this is a seemingly specialized question, the article asks the more general question what criteria of admission to the art historical canon should be and when concessions to popularity are warranted.

Bruce Nauman. Cosmogony and the clown: on the occasion of Nauman’s PS1/MoMA retrospective by Philippe Parreno, 4 Columns

(Thanks to Kimberly Bradley for this suggestion!)

Parreno’s review is not only interesting because it is an artist’s review of a show by another artist, but also because he asks questions about the format itself as he wonders how to write.

Working without the pressure of success. Wider den sexistischen Vorurteilen im Kunstbetrieb by Martina Schöggl, Arts of the Working Class, No. 4,

text at the event and on request beforehand.

(Thanks to Marianne Dober for suggesting Arts of the Working Class!)

Schöggl’s short text tackles the subject of sexism in the art world, ending with a call for action and offering a hands-on approach which are worthy of discussion.

CRIT CROSS #4

Thursday, 6. December, 7pm 

mumok, museum of modern art 

Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna

The three texts for the Crit Cross #4 are:

Der Angriff der Gegenwart auf die Historie by Matthias Dusini, Falter 45/18, 7.11.2018. 

(Thanks to Fiona Liewehr for her suggestion!)

Die Beauty und das Biest by Matthias Dusini, Falter 43/18, 24.10.2018.

Dusini’s texts invite a critical reflection on the role of museums as public institutions and the prize they pay in their quest for new audiences in Austria and beyond.

One Take: Invitation to Freedom by Lou Cornum, Frieze, No. 199, November-Decemer 2018.

Lou Cornum’s text about a performance by Rebecca Belmore appeared in Frieze’s edition on decolonialization. It asks questions about art audiences, identity and the relationship between art and politics, introducing a completely different, but not less relevant, discussion than the two texts by Dusini.

CRIT CROSS #3

Tuesday, 2. October 2018, 7pm 

Depot – Raum für Kunst und Diskussion
Breite Gssse 3, 1070 Wien

For its third edition, Crit Cross is inviting an international curator, Zarina Muhammad from the critics collective The White Pube, founded by her and Gabrielle de la Puente in 2015.

As a duo and individually, they have introduced the emoji review, the baby essay, Twitter and Instagram criticism and do podcasts and youtube. Recently, they were on the Dazed & Confused 2018 Dazed 100 list for “the people whose moment is now”. They criticize white artists who put black bodies on display in galleries, have their word to say about Turner Prize nominations and speak up whenever they feel something is going wrong in the art world. Their reviews are permeated by personal experience instead of simulating objectivity and they make all their incomes public on their website.

The two texts for Crit Cross #3 are:

* the position paper B2B OBJ// SUBJ// ECTIVITY,

*review of Tai Shani @ Tramway for Glasgow International to learn how the position plays out concretely.

CRIT CROSS #2

Friday, 13. July 2018, 6:30pm 

Belvedere 21
Arsenalstraße 1, 1030 Wien

The two texts for Crit Cross #2 are:

Let’s be clear: “We are at war” by Mohammad Salemy, Ocula, https://ocula.com/magazine/reports/10th-berlin-biennale-lets-be-clear-we-are-at-war/ (Thanks to Christoph Chwatal for his suggestion).

Conversation between Steffen Mau and Uwe Vormbusch, Texte zur Kunst, Texte zur Kunst, https://www.textezurkunst.de/110/likes-and-performance/ (Thanks to Sabeth Buchmann for her suggestion).

CRIT CROSS #1

Thursday, 24. May, 6:30pm 

mumok, museum of modern art 

Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna, Austria

The three texts for the first Crit Cross are:

Kunst: Der zwiespältige Boom der Privatsammlungen in den Museen by Nina Schedlmayer, Profil, 13.2.2018).

Nina Schedlmayer critically reflects the practice of exhibiting private collections in public museums (bit.ly/2rysyVb) (English translation available on request at critcross@verein-k.net).

Why is there no criticism in fashion? by Jack Self, Spike 55, Spring 2018.

Jack Self argues that art has lost its role at the forefront of contemporary culture (https://bit.ly/2Ie71fM).

Anselm Kiefer and Leon Golub: Separate and Together at The Met Breuer by Cathy Nan Quinlan, Talking Pictures, 27.4.2018.

Cathy Nan Quinlan discusses the absence of women in Kiefer’s and Golub’s art and the impossibility for German artists to „recreate‚ the amber waves of grain‘ so a new generation can see them, really see them and find new meaning in them“, without being accused of being a Nazi (bit.ly/2wED3w7).

 

 

 

Verein K is an independent arts and cultural organization from Vienna, founded in January 2018. Verein K focuses on projects in the field of contemporary art and culture connecting diverse cultural and social interests: critical approaches to contemporary art, creating curatorial platforms as well as enabling innovative cultural practices including diverse social groups.

 
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