SESSION THREE | 3:00 – 4:00 PM
IS CRITICISM IN CRITICAL CONDITION?
Led by Gretchen Coombs, Ben Davis, Jasmine Weber
COOPER FOUNDATION BUILDING, 2ND FLOOR, ROOM 215F
Note: No advance registration required. Sessions will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
What is the role of criticism and writing in social practices? In cases when audiences are inscribed in the artwork, how do critics best understand and analyze community engagement and impact? How might authors negotiate their own stakes in the political discussions at hand? In this panel, writers Ben Davis, Aruna D’Souza, and Jasmine Weber will outline the evolution of socially engaged art writing and criticism and discuss how the field has evolved to determine the efficacy of artworks with political aims. They will share experiences writing impactful and challenging criticism in an era of clickbait and paid-for puff pieces.
Gretchen Coombs is a writer who researches the forms and structures of care in socially engaged art projects. She studies cultural institutions who practice care through curation and public programming. Her writing has been featured in The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, and Temporary Art Review. Her forthcoming monograph, The Lure of the Social: Encounters with Contemporary Artists, will be published in 2020.
Ben Davis is a New York City-based art critic and writer who currently serves as the National Art Critic for artnet News.
Jasmine Weber is an artist, writer, and Associate Editor at Hyperallergic who is particularly interested in Black art histories and visual culture.