Thursday, April 15th to Saturday, April 17th, 2010
The short art review is at once a challenge, an insult, a record, and a piece of advertising. Its purpose is debatable and arguably quite different for the various parties involved: the writer gets a tear sheet, a couple of bucks, and some editorial gratification; the reader, in the best case scenario, gets a succinct, opinionated description of a body of work they probably did not see in person; and the artist gets published recognition and an entry for their bibliography. But think, for a moment, of the artist who has been reviewed carelessly, who has never been reviewed, who lives in a city where there is little local criticism. What then?
For three days at Urban Culture Project Space, 21 East 12th Street in downtown Kansas City, MO, Chicago-based art critic Lori Waxman will receive artists in need of reviews under the auspices of her project, the “60 wrd/min art critic.” Reviews, which are free of charge, will be scheduled and written in twenty-five minute increments between the announced hours only: Thursday, April 15, 12-2:30pm & 4-6:30pm; Friday, April 16, 2:30-5pm & 6:30-9pm; and Saturday, April 17, 12-2:30pm & 4-6:30pm. Reviews will be signed, published and ready for pick-up within the time frame of the performance. Artist, artwork, critic, and review will all exist in the same space simultaneously, thereby helping to demystify the art review process. The reviews will remain on view at Urban Culture Project Space through May 6. In addition, the reviews will be published by the Kansas City Star (in print and online at KansasCity.com) in the weeks following the performance.
The 60 wrd/min art critic is many things: an exploration of short-form art writing, a work of performance art in and of itself, an experiment in role reversal between artist and critic, a democratic gesture and a circumvention of the art review process. At a time when newspaper and magazine art columns are disappearing, the “60 wrd/min art critic” aims to get a community talking about its own art.
Kansas City is among ten U.S. cities purposefully included in the list of destinations for the “60 wrd/min art critic.” Waxman has focused her project on vibrant regional arts communities, from Austin, TX to Portland, OR, from Durham, NC to Columbus, OH, whose artists rarely have opportunities to receive nationally published art reviews.
This is a project of the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program and is being hosted in Kansas City by CSF/UCP and Grand Arts.
Read full press release.
For photos of the event, check out our flickr.