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After criticism: new responses to art and performance

After criticism: new responses to art and performance

Butt, Gavin

Addressing the changing nature of art production, interpretation and spectatorship in contemporary art, this collection focuses on key developments that have taken place in the past decade in the work of selected art historians, writers on visual culture, artists and art critics. It has recently become apparent that criticism is in trouble. Either commodification is deemed to have killed it off, or it has become institutionally routine. This book explores contemporary approaches that have sought to renew criticism's energies in the wake of a theatrical turn in recent visual arts practice and the emergence of a performative arts writing over the past decade or so. Issues addressed include the performing of art's histories: the consequences for criticism of embracing boredom, distraction, and other "queer" forms of (in)attention: and the importance of exploring writerly process in responding to aesthetic experience. Bringing together newly commissioned work from the fields of art history, performance studies, and visual culture with the writings of contemporary artists, After Criticism provides a set of experimental essays that demonstrate how the critical might live on as a vital and efficacious force within contemporary culture

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published Oxford: Blackwell, 2005
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Details

Statement of responsibility: edited by Gavin Butt
ISBN: 0470777354, 9780470777350
Note: Formerly CIP.
Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. [207]-211) and index.
Physical Description: xii, 215 p. : ill.
Series: New interventions in art history ; 4
Subject: Sociology & anthropology; Performance art.; The arts: general issues; Art and Design; Theory of art; Art criticism United States History 20th century.; Dance; History of art
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. Askews and Holts. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Series Title: New interventions in art history ; 4.
Other formats: Also available in printed form ISBN 9780631232841

Contents

  1. List of Illustrations vii
  2. Notes on Contributors viii
  3. Series Editor’s Preface xi
  4. Introduction: The Paradoxes of Criticism 1Gavin Butt
  5. Part I Performing Art’s Histories
  6. 1 Solo Solo Solo 23Rebecca Schneider
  7. 2 Binding to Another’s Wound: Of Weddings and Witness 48Jane Blocker
  8. 3 This is I 65Niru Ratnam
  9. Part II Distracted and Bored: The Critic Looks Elsewhere
  10. 4 The Trouble with Men, or, Sex, Boredom, and the Work of Vaginal Davis 81Jennifer Doyle
  11. 5 Utopia’s Seating Chart: Ray Johnson, Jill Johnston, and Queer Intermedia as System 101José Esteban Muñoz
  12. 6 Looking Away: Participations in Visual Culture 117Irit Rogoff
  13. Part III Critical Response/Performative Process
  14. 7 Itinerant Improvisations: From “My Favorite Things” to an “agency of night” 137John Seth
  15. 8 The Experience of Art as a Living Through of Language 156Kate Love
  16. 9 A Transparent Lecture 176Matthew Goulish
  17. Selected Bibliography 207compiled by Andrew Walby
  18. Index

Author note

Gavin Butt teaches in the Unit of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His research interests encompass performance and performativity in the visual arts; queer theory; and queer cultures and their histories. He is the author of a book on gossip and homosexuality entitled Between You and Me: Queer Disclosures in the American Art World 1948–1963 (2005).

Reviews

"After Criticism is crucial to any discussion regarding the status of criticism and critical theory after post-structuralism and, equally importantly, is one of few texts that is innovative in its illumination of context, history, aesthetic judgement and, rare for an academic text, enjoyable to read." Art Monthly

"After Criticism is no doubt the most intriguing collection of performative writing published yet. Being refreshing, entertaining as well as inspiringly confusing, it is essential reading for anyone writing on art who does not only think of what to write, but also how to write it." Contemporary

"Though it seems contradictory to write words of praise for a book that deeply interrogates the marketability of praiseful language (in the guise of art criticism), Gavin Butt's collection deserves them. Framed by Butt's astute introduction, these performative essays pulse with vitality. Food for thought, this book makes us think, again, about art and its interpretations in a new way. Critical writing as a kind of performance – delicious." Amelia Jones, University of Manchester

"This anthology is an excellent overview of performative critical discourse edited and introduced by one of its leading proponents. All the contributions have an experimental or improvisational edge that preserves a sense of the critical encounter. The book is at the cutting edge of art theory and will be read with enthusiasm by a large number of people engaged with contemporary art practice and criticism." Margaret Iversen, University of Essex

"After Criticism is crucial to any discussion regarding the status of criticism and critical theory after post-structuralism and, equally importantly, is one of few texts that is innovative in its illumination of context, history, aesthetic judgement and, rare for an academic text, enjoyable to read." Art Monthly

"After Criticism is no doubt the most intriguing collection of performative writing published yet. Being refreshing, entertaining as well as inspiringly confusing, it is essential reading for anyone writing on art who does not only think of what to write, but also how to write it." Contemporary

"Though it seems contradictory to write words of praise for a book that deeply interrogates the marketability of praiseful language (in the guise of art criticism), Gavin Butt's collection deserves them. Framed by Butt's astute introduction, these performative essays pulse with vitality. Food for thought, this book makes us think, again, about art and its interpretations in a new way. Critical writing as a kind of performance – delicious." Amelia Jones, University of Manchester

"This anthology is an excellent overview of performative critical discourse edited and introduced by one of its leading proponents. All the contributions have an experimental or improvisational edge that preserves a sense of the critical encounter. The book is at the cutting edge of art theory and will be read with enthusiasm by a large number of people engaged with contemporary art practice and criticism." Margaret Iversen, University of Essex

Back cover copy

It has recently become apparent that criticism is in trouble. Either commodification is deemed to have killed it off, or it has become institutionally routine. This book explores contemporary approaches that have sought to renew criticism's energies in the wake of a theatrical turn in recent visual arts practice and the emergence of a performative arts writing over the past decade or so.

Issues addressed include the performing of art's histories; the consequences for criticism of embracing boredom, distraction, and other “queer” forms of (in)attention; and the importance of exploring writerly process in responding to aesthetic experience. Bringing together newly commissioned work from the fields of art history, performance studies, and visual culture with the writings of contemporary artists, After Criticism provides a set of experimental essays that demonstrate how the critical might live on as a vital and efficacious force within contemporary culture.