Centro Cultural

Courses and seminars


Cultural and Creative Writing Criticism Workshop
June 3 – 10, 2011 (except 5)
Morning and afternoon sessions.

This second edition of PRACTICAL CRITICISM will continue with the line of reflection around the function of criticism at the heart of our societies. A double contradictory movement seems to take over when we talk about criticism. On the one hand, the Network Society is encouraging the idea that anyone can raise his/her voice, expressing an opinion, an analysis, or that he/she can simply comment on those forms of culture which he/she finds attractive or original. In this dimension, the blogosphere has arisen as an open space while at the same time the cultural artefacts themselves demand that the spectator (sometimes a consumer) reviews them. This apparent explosion of “criticism” has revolutionised traditional magazine reviews, especially in the fields of film and music. On the other hand, siren songs reach us about the death of criticism, substituted by journalistic information and by that same trend that subsumes everything to the domain of advertising, marketing and communication. The critic James Elkins describes this paradox in his work What Happened to Art Criticism? Criticism (of art) has never been so weak and, paradoxically, the production of textuality has never been so abundant. And what can we say about the progressive discursivisation of contemporary art and dramatic art? Does this mean that criticism is vigorous, or, on the contrary, does it perhaps show that the analytical capacity of the critic has moved towards other mediation figures?

PRACTICAL CRITICISM will likewise tackle the notion of “essay” and go deeply into the multidisciplinary overlapping of criticism, essay, journalism and literature in an attempt to expand the idea of “genre” (a territory in which Tom Wolfe, David Foster Wallace and Kathy Acker, to cite but a few, are matchless leaders).

PRACTICAL CRITICISM is a criticism and writing workshop centred on the fields of contemporary art, critical and cultural theory. At the same time it seeks to reflect on and go deeply into the subjectivity that writing carries with it. The workshop will be theoretical-practical, that is to say, it will include reflection, reading and collective discussion as praxis. The workshop does not look for immediate results but to sow future seeds, encouraging forms of self-awareness.

PRACTICAL CRITICISM is directed towards people who write or want to write criticism in any of its variants (art, film, literature, dance and others), curators, researchers, experimental writers and also artists interested in writing as a means of expression.
Limited numbers.  Those interested in taking part in the selection of the audience should send their application form, together with a short letter introducing themselves and a CV/Bio by regular mail to:
C/ Fray Zacarías Martínez, 2
01001 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
or by e-mail to: accioncultural@montehermoso.net (only acknowledgment receipt applications will be taken into account)

Deadline for applications: May 13, 2011.
Workshop directed by Peio Aguirre (art critic and independent curator)


Parallel activities
On the occasion of the workshop the centre will host a lecture, free admission:
June 9, 7 pm. Pedro de Llano.

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.

Pedro de Llano
Art historian. He wrote his doctoral thesis at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela on the basis of his research into Clement Greenberg's materialistic criticism, at the Getty Research Institute, in Los Angeles. He has written Exit Express, Afterall online and La Vanguardia. His texts on artists include pieces on Tino Sehgal, Fernando José Pereira, Hans Schabus, John Knight, Sergio Prego, Maria Eichhorn and Stephen Prina. He has curated El medio es el museo (MARCO / Koldo Mitxelena, 2008 – with Pablo Fanego) and Bas Jan Ader: In Search of the Miraculous, treinta años después (CGAC, 2010). Since 2010 he has taught an MA in Contemporary Artistic Practices at the Oporto Fine Arts School.

practical criticism
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