The Crit Lab: Rethinking Critique

cri·tique /kriˈtēk/ 
noun: a detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially a literary, philosophical, or political theory.
synonyms: analysis, evaluation, assessment, appraisal, appreciation, criticism, review, study, commentary, exposition, exegesis
verb: evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way.

This definition encourages an authoritative application of critique- an assessment of success or failure as based on apparently objective terms. The Crit Lab takes another stance, and addresses the work as a verb, an action, an autonomous organism, with its own syntax, grammar and internal logic. We meet this "being" on its own terms, as opposed to measuring it against external ideas of succes or failure. This process of "opening up a radical space of uncertainty and vulnerability" (Leslie Dick) brings us into a rich productive dialogue with the work, rather than a space of judgement and conclusion. We engage in rigorous and intentional conversation with the work and with one another, and create structures for individualized, supportive, inclusive dialogue.

Art-making is an inherently political act. Whether your work takes on political subjects directly, or stakes a claim for beauty as a necessary force in the world, all art is situated in a social space. Art is always in conversation with other art, past and present, and engaged in the discourses of culture- present, past, and into the future.

Gathering physically in a room together, in dialogue, in an act of community, is more urgent than ever. We share our work, our vision, our process, and our dreams in an outwardly focused action, and bring an intersectional, ethical stance to our work and to our micro/macro-society.

Artists are a constituency. Together we can envision and create thriving, sustainable, ethical, artistic communities, that can even change the world.

Read about the pedagogy of critiques below. Check out the Artists Pages for images and info on current Crit Lab artists.

Bibliography section article Bibliography Section Catalog Bibliography Section Web Link PDF icon small Sold Dot