Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Sad State of Art Writing in St. John's

I apologise for how St. John's-centric this is, but I just have to address Steve Bartlett's recent piece about Cathia Finkle's MEN at RCA Visual in the April 5th-11th edition of the Express.

Yikes. What a mangle job. If this is the kind of visual art writing that exists in St. John's then no wonder the public is so apathetic. If you haven't read it, consider yourself lucky. If you have read it then you know what I'm talking about.

Bring back Arts Atlantic. Please!


Anonymous danny said...

call me an idiot, but i guess there is a new show up at RCA. Do you know how much longer it is running?

6:47 p.m.  
Anonymous d said...

danny: men remains up and is around until may 7th. Not sure what's up after that.

Although the RCA gallery part of RCA's website is never updated the calendar section usually is, but it shows no listings after men.

3:57 p.m.  
Anonymous danny said...

thanks, ill try to get down to that soon, i never check the website anymore because i thought it was never updated.

8:52 p.m.  
Blogger Jennifer B. said...

I've noticed the person who often writes exhibition "reviews" for The Telegram simply describes everything (in great detail) in a given show with no actual criticism or opinions. That is pretty frustrating and boring reading. I suppose it's still good to give attention to the artists and venues being reviewed, but there's lots of room for improvement.

9:53 a.m.  
Anonymous just passing through said...

Most of these papers aim for a grade 8 readership.

It's useful publicity but not art critism or review. I'm not sure it's ever been the place of a local paper.
Peter Bell gave a stab at it. If the name is new to you you can read about it here.

11:54 p.m.  
Anonymous john travolta said...

i understand the stuff about the writing in newspapers not being critical, it makes sense. Why would or should it? I would love to see art being made that wasn't apathetic towards criticism. Does that make sense? the art needs to care first.

2:38 p.m.  
Blogger Jennifer B. said...

Well, they review movies and theatrical performances, don't they? I think some more criticism would be great. That's why we have this blog, I suppose.

5:42 p.m.  
Anonymous john travolta said...

yes more criticism would be great, it is needed. but alot of art here in the province doesn't recognize or understand the type of criticism we are talking about. the general public certainly would not, that is why art criticism is elite criticism in a way. And that is why this blog is happening. for the people who feel they are able to criticise more accurately. How can you honestly go down to a show like MEN and criticise it? Would this show be considered apathetic or indifferent towards the art criticism we learned in school?

5:58 p.m.  
Anonymous oh yeah said...

Does criticism make art better? Does it make or brake someone? Should artists care what is written about them? Should they listen to critics?

Just wondering.

8:20 p.m.  
Blogger Steve Topping said...

Most people would rather remain big fish.

Some people want the criticism and is't it a question of the quality of the critique? You and I can go to any show and criticise it no matter the girth, content or will. We are free to do so and it, I feel, it is a normal part of a devoloping culture/society.

If you want to destroy your enemy... do not give critique... he will destroy himself.

11:40 p.m.  
Anonymous john travolta said...

who would rather remain big fish? the artist who avoids crticism? there are a few types of art being made. Art world conscious art for art world conscious critics, art that is unaware of these trends, and art that is conscious of the bubble and chooses not to play along.

to oh yeah: that really depends on your agenda. formal critique can be positive as well as concept critique if that is what you are about. Artists shouldn't let criticism affect their work. Bad press or whatever shouldn't change your art. If it does than there couldn't have been much behind it to start with. If you are making art to satisfy trends etc..then i guess you would listen but the work would have little substance. I'm not sure if you are actually looking for advice or not. Marcel Duchamp was acutley aware of his environment and the trends in the avant-garde. I consider him a successful artist, but he could have made alot more cash.

1:46 a.m.  
Anonymous Joseph B'ys said...

With this ongoing converstation about (local)writing and (local)art in mind I read the catalogue for the Beauty Queens show currently at the rooms.

I read the essay by Shauna McCabe last night and I have to say that I really want to check out the show again. I'm not sure what this says about me, whether I need to have someone decode the images. Or is it a desire based on my tendancy to organize my world through language.

It's also a really nice piece of writing about islands as liminal space .

I deked out to see the show while all the hubub was hubupening at Will and Beth's opening. (As was mentioned before the snack table was a bit meagre.) But, I knew then that I'd need a lot more time.

Unfortunately, Jim Hanson, which I was stoked to see based on the catalogue I have from his last big show at the AGNL, was a let down.

Has anyone else seen Beauty Queens?

Does anyone else read these things? Catalogues, I mean.

7:08 p.m.  
Blogger Steve Topping said...

1:10 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps we (artists) should stop whining about the lack of art writing in our local rags and think more globally. Why haven't any of our excellent writers (who often write reviews of each others work) written about their brothers and sisters in the visual art world? Why didn't anyone write a review/story of Will and Beth's show and pitch it to the Globe and Mail? Why does the AKIMBO blog cover the art scenes everywhere in Canada except Nfld and Lab? Forget about the local audience. Start writing about us for the national audence and then...the locals will ...take note.

9:30 a.m.  
Anonymous Joseph B'ys said...

good point

10:08 a.m.  
Anonymous Looking for Roddick said...

Totally unrelated

Do any of you guys know how to get in touch with Ray Roddick? Is he still in France? Anybody have a current e mail for him?

If so, could you ask him to get in touch with me?

I have a bunch of his stuff and am moving soon and want to see where and how he is and all that stuff.

I would appreciate it,

Diana Daly

12:19 p.m.  
Blogger Steve Topping said...

The friendly buddist man in the battery would know how to find him. I don't remember his name, sorry mister, but he lives on fort waldergrave in the very colourfull house on the pathway.

1:06 a.m.  
Anonymous helping said...

gary, his name is gary .
ray is in glovertown with his folks.

1:28 a.m.  
Anonymous artfiend said...

akimbo is paid advertising

1:29 a.m.  
Anonymous Ray's friend Di said...

Thanks all, I will find him! Do you think that he is now a friendly buddhist man also? That would be funny and cool...on so many levels.

12:01 p.m.  

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