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CRIT CROSS: A Forum on Art Criticism

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, Kunsthalle Wien, Secession).

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.

 

 

Crit Cross #12

 A Forum on Art Criticism
Talk with Rosalyn D’Mello

Friday, 4. December, 6:30pm
ZOOM (details below)
In cooperation with Depot – Raum für Kunst und Diskussion

Like each December’s, this year’s last Crit Cross has an international guest. After great dialogues with Zarina Muhammad from The White Pube in 2018 and Stephanie Bailey from Ocula in 2019, we are excited to be able to have a conversation this year with Rosalyn D’Mello from STIR. 

Rosalyn D’Mello is a feminist writer, editor, and art critic. She moved from India to South Tirol earlier this year and has been reporting on events in our vicinity for the India-based publication STIR ever since, adding a different voice to Austrian and Italian art criticism. We’ve been following her ambitious writings in the last few months – during which she asked timeless questions like «Do audiences matter to artists?» or «Can the artist speak?», developing personal answers and also offered valuable perspectives on shows we saw in Salzburg («Friedl Kubelka vom Gröller», Museum der Moderne), Graz («Paranoia TV», Steirischer Herbst) or Vienna («…of bread, wine, cars, security and peace», Kunsthalle Wien).  

Please find below some of D’Mello’swritings as an introduction to her critical practice:

The Freudian Glitch, D’Mello’s take on the Steirischer Herbst 
Self-harm versus self-care, what does the art world enable? is about the way the art world deals with – and potentially commodifies – suffering.
Seeing a work of art in the age of coronavirus addresses the ongoing present moment.

All of D’Mello’s texts for STIR can be accessed here.

For a longer piece of writing on her perspective, we recommend The empathy drink: reflections from a brown-eyed museum visitor. 

In order to socialize while keeping the necessary physical distance, we will use Zoom for our discussion, which will take place in English.
The link for the Zoom please find here.

About Rosalyn D’Mello:
She is the author of A Handbook for my Lover (HarperCollins India, 2015; Hardie Grant Australia, 2016) and her writing has appeared in numerous anthologies. She writes a weekly feminist column for mid-day and is a regular columnist for the web-based publication STIR and the weekly magazine OPEN, where she writes about her visits to artists’ studios, the subject of her forthcoming book for Oxford University Press, India, thanks to an arts research grant from the India Foundation for the Arts. She was previously the editor of BLOUINARTINFO India and was nominated for the Forbes’ Best Emerging Art Writer Award in 2014. She was also shortlisted for the Prudential Eye Art Award for Best Writing on Asian Contemporary Art in 2014. She was an evaluator for The Andy Warhol Foundation Art Writers Grant in 2020. She is presently based in Tramin in Südtirol, in the Italian Alps, and is working on the sequel to her non-fiction memoir.  

Crit Cross #12 is supported by the City of Vienna and the 7. District of Vienna.


CRIT CROSS #11

A Forum on Art Criticism in cooperation with Depot
–> Art & Criticism in Times of Crisis <–

Tuesday, 21. April, 6:30pm
ZOOM (details below)

Does the shutdown bring an overproducing artworld to a heathy halt or is it an exciting opportunity to find new ways of producing? Does the quarantine expose the shortcomings of the gallery system or does it prove the irreplaceability of the physical experience of art in the age of Instagram? Will cancelled art fairs be replaced by thriving online salesrooms or does the crisis show that an altogether different way of financing art – and perhaps everything else – is necessary and possible? 

Times of crisis are times for reflection. We thus want to use this Crit Cross. A Forum on Art Criticism to step back and reflect on the puzzles, impacts and paradoxes of the Covid-19 Crisis. As we move through the evening, we will look at three aspects, namely the creationcirculation & presentation and the financing of art

And to socialize while keeping the necessary physical distance, we will use Zoom for our discussion. 
Zoom can be downloaded here.
If you click on this link, you can join the meeting.

While we will not physically be at Depot. Raum für Kunst und Diskussion, Depot still is our partner for this event.

As always, our debate will be nourished by contemporary critical writing. Here’s a choice of our readings: 

‘This Is the Biggest Challenge We’ve Faced Since the War’: How the Coronavirus Crisis Is Exposing the Precarious Position of Museums Worldwide

Letter From Madrid: The Director of the Reina Sofia on What It Will Take for Museums to Rise Again—and What They Can Do in the Meantime

One third of French galleries could shut before end of 2020 due to coronavirus impact

Will coronavirus-related cancellations spell the end of ‘fairtigue’?

Post-pandemic, the art market might return to ‘normal’—but do we want it to?

‘A Whole Generation of Artists Might Be Wiped Out’: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev on Museums, Care and the Covid-19 Crisis

Can You Get Your Art Critiqued on Zoom? New York Art Students Are Finding Out—With the Help of Some Celebrity Visiting Critics

‘What I like about coronavirus’ by Slavoj Žižek

Letters against Separation on e-flux conversations 

Thoughts Within the Coronising Siege: A Work in Progress

Crit Cross #11 is supported by the 7. District of Vienna and The City of Vienna.


CRIT CROSS #10

A Forum on Art Criticism
The Secession Edition

Thursday, 27. February, 6:30pm 
Vienna Secession
Friedrichstraße 12
1010 Vienna

How do reviews from 1998 compare to those of 2020? Do we feel that things are still fundamentally the same? Or is it the opposite? How has art criticism and the discourse about art evolved in the last 20 years? What appears to be the role of criticism and what can be takeaways for an institution who may be subject to critique?

These are some of the questions we want to discuss at Crit Cross. A Forum on Art Criticism #10.

For the first Crit Cross in 2020, Verein K will be a guest with the Secession Member’s Club, which will exceptionally open its doors to the participants of Crit Cross.

We chose exemplary reviews from the archive. Two exhibitions are in focus: the recent Tala Madani show  Shit Moms and the show Sod and Sodie Sock Comp O.S.O. by Mike Kelley/Paul McCarthy from 1998.

Crit Cross #10 is realized in collaboration with Vienna Secession.


CRIT CROSS #9

A Forum on Art Criticism
Two year celebration and a guest!

Friday, 13. December, 6:30pm
Depot – Raum für Kunst und Diskussion
Breite Gasse 3
1070 Vienna

For the last Crit Cross in 2019, Verein K is back at Depot, has a guest from Hong Kong and hosts a party. We have a lot to celebrate: Not only is it Friday the 13th – Verein K also turns 2!

Our guest, Stephanie Bailey, based in Hong Kong and Berlin, is the editor in chief in Ocula. She also writes regularly for Artforum International, Art Monthly, Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Art Papers, LEAP and D’ivan, A Journal of Accounts. Bailey will tell us about her work as a writer and editor, her relationship to art, what she tries to achieve in her own texts and what she looks for in those of others. Because Crit Cross. A Forum on Art Criticism is a forum where we usually take them time to read before we discuss, we asked Bailey for texts reflecting her practice and she generously invited us to weigh in on her debate with Morgan Quaintance about the politicality of art criticism that had three chapters: her review, its critique by Quaintance and Bailey’s reply. London-based artist and writer Morgan Quaintance will join our debate by Skype.

Klaus Speidel, art and image theorist and art critic as well as co-founder of Verein K, will facilitate the discussion.

There are three pieces:

Athens: Future Past, Stephanie’s review of the Athens Biennale, Art Monthly, April 2019
Morgan’s critique of Stephanie’s take and Stephanie’s response

After the dialogue, we will hold a party to celebrate the end of the year and Verein K’s two years of existence. In these two years, we’ve organized 2 residency programs for international curators, 2 residency programs for international art critics and 9 Crit Cross events, brought together over 20 art critics and 23 curators, organized visits with 65 artists, and many theorists and other art professionals, toured institutions, off-spaces and galleries and organized 12 public conversations and talks.

  
Crit Cross #9 is realized in collaboration with Depot – Raum für Kunst und Diskussion.
 
 

CRIT CROSS #8
 
A Forum on Art Criticism
A New Institutional Critique?
 
12. November, 6:30pm
Kunsthalle Wien 
Museumsplatz 1
1010 Vienna
 
From Hito Steyrl’s criticism of the Sackler family through the «Tear Gas Biennale» statement leading a board member to step back from the Whitney’s board, public outcries kept making headlines in the artworld in 2019.
 
At this Crit Cross we want to step back and reflect on what’s happening. What are the forms the critique takes? What are its reasons and effects? What’s its relationship to art as art? Are there more reasons to be critical now than before or are the critics more empowered?, are some of the questions we want to discuss at Crit Cross #8 at Kunsthalle Wien. Texts by Jörg Heiser, Allison Hewitt Ward and Ben Luke will be some of our companion pieces for this edition.
 
The texts can be accessed here:
 
Kann die Kunst sich das leisten? by Jörg Heiser, Republik, 13.07.2019 
 
A Postmortem on the Whitney Biennial by Allison Hewitt Ward,  Spike Art Daily, 19.09. 2019
 
Museums cannot ignore artists’ values by Ben Luke, The Art Newspaper, 24.07. 2019 
 
 
Context for the topic (further readings):
 
The Tear Gas Biennial, ARTFORUM, July 17, 2019
 
 

Crit Cross #8 is realized in collaboration with Kunsthalle Wien.


CRIT CROSS #7

A Forum on Art Criticism
From Portraits to Language

Thursday, 13. June, 6:30pm
mumok, museum of modern art
Museumsplatz 1
1070 Vienna

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

A Forum on Art Criticism
Special Edition: Manifestos

Friday, 12. April 2019, 6:00pm 
FRANZ JOSEFS KAI 3
1010 Vienna

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 #12

 A Forum on Art Criticism
Talk with Rosalyn D’Mello

Friday, 4. December, 6:30pm
ZOOM (details below)
In cooperation with Depot – Raum für Kunst und Diskussion

Like each December’s, this year’s last Crit Cross has an international guest. After great dialogues with Zarina Muhammad from The White Pube in 2018 and Stephanie Bailey from Ocula in 2019, we are excited to be able to have a conversation this year with Rosalyn D’Mello from STIR. 

Rosalyn D’Mello is a feminist writer, editor, and art critic. She moved from India to South Tirol earlier this year and has been reporting on events in our vicinity for the India-based publication STIR ever since, adding a different voice to Austrian and Italian art criticism. We’ve been following her ambitious writings in the last few months – during which she asked timeless questions like «Do audiences matter to artists?» or «Can the artist speak?», developing personal answers and also offered valuable perspectives on shows we saw in Salzburg («Friedl Kubelka vom Gröller», Museum der Moderne), Graz («Paranoia TV», Steirischer Herbst) or Vienna («…of bread, wine, cars, security and peace», Kunsthalle Wien).  

Please find below some of D’Mello’swritings as an introduction to her critical practice:

The Freudian Glitch, D’Mello’s take on the Steirischer Herbst 
Self-harm versus self-care, what does the art world enable? is about the way the art world deals with – and potentially commodifies – suffering.
Seeing a work of art in the age of coronavirus addresses the ongoing present moment.

All of D’Mello’s texts for STIR can be accessed here.

For a longer piece of writing on her perspective, we recommend The empathy drink: reflections from a brown-eyed museum visitor. 

In order to socialize while keeping the necessary physical distance, we will use Zoom for our discussion, which will take place in English.
The link for the Zoom please find here.

About Rosalyn D’Mello:
She is the author of A Handbook for my Lover (HarperCollins India, 2015; Hardie Grant Australia, 2016) and her writing has appeared in numerous anthologies. She writes a weekly feminist column for mid-day and is a regular columnist for the web-based publication STIR and the weekly magazine OPEN, where she writes about her visits to artists’ studios, the subject of her forthcoming book for Oxford University Press, India, thanks to an arts research grant from the India Foundation for the Arts. She was previously the editor of BLOUINARTINFO India and was nominated for the Forbes’ Best Emerging Art Writer Award in 2014. She was also shortlisted for the Prudential Eye Art Award for Best Writing on Asian Contemporary Art in 2014. She was an evaluator for The Andy Warhol Foundation Art Writers Grant in 2020. She is presently based in Tramin in Südtirol, in the Italian Alps, and is working on the sequel to her non-fiction memoir.

Crit Cross #12 is supported by the City of Vienna and the 7. District of Vienna.

CRIT CROSS #11

A Forum on Art Criticism in cooperation with Depot 
–> Art & Criticism in Times of Crisis <–

Tuesday, 21. April, 6:30pm
ZOOM (details below)

Does the shutdown bring an overproducing artworld to a heathy halt or is it an exciting opportunity to find new ways of producing? Does the quarantine expose the shortcomings of the gallery system or does it prove the irreplaceability of the physical experience of art in the age of Instagram? Will cancelled art fairs be replaced by thriving online salesrooms or does the crisis show that an altogether different way of financing art – and perhaps everything else – is necessary and possible? 

Times of crisis are times for reflection. We thus want to use this Crit Cross. A Forum on Art Criticism to step back and reflect on the puzzles, impacts and paradoxes of the Covid-19 Crisis. As we move through the evening, we will look at three aspects, namely the creationcirculation & presentation and the financing of art

And to socialize while keeping the necessary physical distance, we will use Zoom for our discussion. 
Zoom can be downloaded here.
If you click on this link, you can join the meeting.

While we will not physically be at Depot. Raum für Kunst und Diskussion, Depot still is our partner for this event.

As always, our debate will be nourished by contemporary critical writing. Here’s a choice of our readings: 

‘This Is the Biggest Challenge We’ve Faced Since the War’: How the Coronavirus Crisis Is Exposing the Precarious Position of Museums Worldwide

Letter From Madrid: The Director of the Reina Sofia on What It Will Take for Museums to Rise Again—and What They Can Do in the Meantime

One third of French galleries could shut before end of 2020 due to coronavirus impact

Will coronavirus-related cancellations spell the end of ‘fairtigue’?

Post-pandemic, the art market might return to ‘normal’—but do we want it to?

‘A Whole Generation of Artists Might Be Wiped Out’: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev on Museums, Care and the Covid-19 Crisis

Can You Get Your Art Critiqued on Zoom? New York Art Students Are Finding Out—With the Help of Some Celebrity Visiting Critics

‘What I like about coronavirus’ by Slavoj Žižek

Letters against Separation on e-flux conversations 

Thoughts Within the Coronising Siege: A Work in Progress

Crit Cross #11 is supported by the 7. District of Vienna and The City of Vienna.

 

CRIT CROSS #10

 A Forum on Art Criticism
The Secession Edition

Thursday, 27. February, 6:30pm 
Vienna Secession
Friedrichstraße 12
1010 Vienna

How do reviews from 1998 compare to those of 2020? Do we feel that things are still fundamentally the same? Or is it the opposite? How has art criticism and the discourse about art evolved in the last 20 years? What appears to be the role of criticism and what can be takeaways for an institution who may be subject to critique? 

These are some of the questions we want to discuss at Crit Cross. A Forum on Art Criticism #10.

For the first Crit Cross in 2020, Verein K will be a guest with the Secession Member’s Club, which will exceptionally open its doors to the participants of Crit Cross.

We chose exemplary reviews from the archive. Two exhibitions are in focus: the recent Tala Madani show  Shit Moms and the show Sod and Sodie Sock Comp O.S.O. by Mike Kelley/Paul McCarthy from 1998.

Crit Cross #10 is realized in collaboration with Vienna Secession.


CRIT CROSS #9

A Forum on Art Criticism
Two year celebration and a guest!

Friday, 13. December, 6:30pm
Depot – Raum für Kunst und Diskussion
Breite Gasse 3
1070 Vienna

For the last Crit Cross in 2019, Verein K is back at Depot, has a guest from Hong Kong and hosts a party. We have a lot to celebrate: Not only is it Friday the 13th – Verein K also turns 2!

Our guest, Stephanie Bailey, based in Hong Kong and Berlin, is the editor in chief in Ocula. She also writes regularly for Artforum International, Art Monthly, Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Art Papers, LEAP and D’ivan, A Journal of Accounts. Bailey will tell us about her work as a writer and editor, her relationship to art, what she tries to achieve in her own texts and what she looks for in those of others. Because Crit Cross. A Forum on Art Criticism is a forum where we usually take them time to read before we discuss, we asked Bailey for texts reflecting her practice and she generously invited us to weigh in on her debate with Morgan Quaintance about the politicality of art criticism that had three chapters: her review, its critique by Quaintance and Bailey’s reply. London-based artist and writer Morgan Quaintance will join our debate by Skype.

Klaus Speidel, art and image theorist and art critic as well as co-founder of Verein K, will facilitate the discussion.

There are three pieces:

Athens: Future Past, Stephanie’s review of the Athens Biennale, Art Monthly, April 2019
Morgan’s critique of Stephanie’s take and Stephanie’s response

After the dialogue, we will hold a party to celebrate the end of the year and Verein K’s two years of existence. In these two years, we’ve organized 2 residency programs for international curators, 2 residency programs for international art critics and 9 Crit Cross events, brought together over 20 art critics and 23 curators, organized visits with 65 artists, and many theorists and other art professionals, toured institutions, off-spaces and galleries and organized 12 public conversations and talks.

 
Crit Cross #9 is realized in collaboration with Depot – Raum für Kunst und Diskussion.
 
 

CRIT CROSS #8
 
A Forum on Art Criticism
A New Institutional Critique?
 
12. November, 6:30pm
Kunsthalle Wien 
Museumsplatz 1
1010 Vienna
 
From Hito Steyrl’s criticism of the Sackler family through the «Tear Gas Biennale» statement leading a board member to step back from the Whitney’s board, public outcries kept making headlines in the artworld in 2019.
 
At this Crit Cross we want to step back and reflect on what’s happening. What are the forms the critique takes? What are its reasons and effects? What’s its relationship to art as art? Are there more reasons to be critical now than before or are the critics more empowered?, are some of the questions we want to discuss at Crit Cross #8 at Kunsthalle Wien. Texts by Jörg Heiser, Allison Hewitt Ward and Ben Luke will be some of our companion pieces for this edition.
 
The texts can be accessed here:
 
Kann die Kunst sich das leisten? by Jörg Heiser, Republik, 13.07.2019 
A Postmortem on the Whitney Biennial by Allison Hewitt Ward,  Spike Art Daily, 19.09. 2019
Museums cannot ignore artists’ values by Ben Luke, The Art Newspaper, 24.07. 2019 
 
Context for the topic (further readings):
 
The Tear Gas Biennial, ARTFORUM, July 17, 2019
 

Crit Cross #8 is realized in collaboration with Kunsthalle Wien.


CRIT CROSS #7

 A Forum on Art Criticism
From Portraits to Language

Thursday, 13. June, 6:30pm
mumok, museum of modern art
Museumsplatz 1
1070 Vienna

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

A Forum on Art Criticism
Special Edition: Manifestos

Friday, 12. April 2019, 6:00pm 
FRANZ JOSEFS KAI 3
1010 Vienna

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.

 

 

 

 

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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