Centro Cultural

Courses and seminars


Workshop on contemporary art criticism and writing.
14th- 21st May, 2010 (except 16th)

In his book The Function of Criticism, Terry Eagleton writes that “the argument of this book is that criticism today lacks all substantive social function. It is either part of the public relations branch of the literary industry or a matter wholly internal to the academics”. However, this diagnosis quite simply exposes the endemic nature of criticism in any of its genres at a historical moment in time when “criticism” has been emptied of meaning, scrutiny, analysis and creativity have been replaced by information transfer.
This theoretical/practical workshop aims once again to look closely at the function of criticism within social and cultural structures.

PRACTICAL CRITICISM is a criticism and writing workshop on contemporary art, critical theory and cultural criticism. One of the aims of the workshop is to ask ourselves what writing actually means, how we should go about it and with what aim: its preconditions (economic and social), its genres (pure criticism, book and exhibition reviews, essays, literary writing, artistic journalism and features), what its motivations are (awareness of the public sphere, authorship and subjectivity), its rewards (wages, symbolic capital) and others. The workshop will also examine the possibilities of critical writing and its media: specialist media, catalogues, magazine supplements and also the possibilities of the “blogosphere” and on-line criticism.

Target participants: people who would like to or who already are involved in any of the different kinds of criticism (art, cinema, literature...), curators, researchers and also artist interested in writing and criticism.
The workshop will be led by Peio Aguirre (art critic and independent curator).

On the ocassion of the workshop the center will host two lectures, free admission:
Sven Lütticken. 20th May, 5 pm
Esther Leslie. 20th May, 7 pm

Peio Aguirre
Art critic and independent curator based in San Sebastián. He has published articles in the following newspapers and magazines: La Vanguardia, Mugalari, Exit Express, Flash Art, Afterall, A Prior, Chto delat? etc. He has also written monographic essays on artists such as  Asier Mendizabal, Philippe Parreno, Susan Philipsz, Liam Gillick, Annika Eriksson, Ibon Aranberri and Jon Mikel Euba, among others. Additionally, he is an independent publisher of artists' books for the CO-OP publishing house. He is the author and publisher of  “criticism and meta-comment” at http://peioaguirre.blogspot.com.

Sven Lütticken
Art critic and historian based in Amsterdam. He teaches at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, and is editor for De Witte Raaf. In 2004, he was granted the Prize for Art Criticism of the BKVB fund, Amsterdam. He publishes regularly in (inter)national art magazines such as Jong Holland, Artforum, New Left Review, Afterimage, Texte zur Kunst, Camera Austria, and contributes to catalogues and exhibitions as writer or guest curator. He is author of the book Idols of the Market: Modern Iconoclasm and the Fundamentalist Spectacle (Sternberg Press, 2009).

Esther Leslie
Professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author of Walter Benjamin: Overpowering Conformism (Pluto, 2000), and Walter Benjamin: Critical Lives (Reaktion, 2007). Other books include Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant-garde (Verso, 2002) and Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry (Reaktion 2005). She is a co-editor of Historical Materialism, is in the editorial collective of Radical Philosophy and is an editor of Revolutionary History. Together with Ben Watson she runs the website www.militantesthetix.co.uk

critica practica
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