Critical Santa Fe – Start of Day 2

Not enough time to reflect fully on the discussions last night, we rush over to La Fonda to begin day 2.  This stuff really has to be thought about and then go back and discuss some more.  I look forward to the dialogue today, hoping that it will shed light on some of the questions that emerged from last night’s discussion.  I just wish I had more time to formulate better questions.

Here’s a brief list of questions:

Jim Romberg says there isn’t a comprehensive, consistent practice of ceramic art criticism.  Dave Kuspit says there isn’t a comprehensive, consistent practice of ceramic art on which to base such criticism.  My question…why do we need either one?  Wouldn’t such practices tend to limit and constrain?

I’m not sure I understand what they were trying to say about curators versus critics…what is the difference and why is this a problem?

They seemed to be saying that the dumming of America (although no one actually called it that) has led to a loss of understanding of criticism…Oh boy…let’s get into that one!

Audience member from France spoke about how in France they don’t have good criticism…just marketism…sales talk about the works.  This seems to be an interesting point…would like to pursue it.

One critic said that the artist’s statements is not interesting and distracting to the criticism of their work.  Interesting.  However, I don’t think this means we shouldn’t talk about our own work.

Hope it is clear that I come to this discussion as an artist, a reader of criticism, a person with reasonable knowledge of art history and the contemporary art world.  However, many times I do not understand the references and statements of some of the critics.  As another artist said last night…”I am not an intellectual, but I am an intelligent person”  Her question was, what am I doing here…or maybe I could paraphrase and ask, What good does ceramic criticism do for me, either as an artist or as a person interested in art.  Back to my original question, which Hunt told me at dinner last night was a rhetorical question…I don’t think it was rhetorical, however much he felt it was from his perspective.

I woke up this morning with this thought:  You know how you read some art criticism and it doesn’t make sense.  You read it several times and it seems to be just a string of large words put together on the page.  Well, I woke up to the startling realization that some critics actually TALK that way!  Amazing!  I thought they had to really think about making those incomprehensible statements, but evidently it comes naturally!

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