Mediterranean Conference of Aesthetics
26th - 28th October 2017, Lisbon, Portugal
DATE: 26/10/2017
"There is nothing new about associating art criticism to a state of crisis. Ever since its beginnings criticism has been either born out of crisis or a generator of crisis: a crisis of paradigms, of principles, of judgment. What is new today however is the triple configuration of our contemporary crisis:

(1) A crisis of inoperativeness and muteness: there is today an unprecedented production of program notes, exhibition guides, art books, exhibition flyers, academic database texts, a massive production that no one seems to read and with an almost irrelevant role in the discussion and configuration of the different artistic territories.

(2) Artists wish, seek, and encourage the writings about their practice, but at the same time distrust the word of criticism and perceive it as suspicion and sometimes as treason.

(3) A judgment crisis: the assessment of artworks has been superseded by new forms of confirming their artistic value that fully dispense the contribution of critical thinking. The reflection generated by the artworks has been substituted by logics of circulation (in exhibitions, biennials and triennials) and communication. Likewise, the powerful personal mythology built around certain artists produces works that are "instantaneous classics" immune to all debate, experience and criticism.

The triple crisis mandates that we think about what art criticism can still do.

In this context one should consider not only an ontological or semantic criticism but also a critical practice that extends to artistic production and exhibition. It is required that we look for the meaning of criticism in public space, in the connection to other epistemological realms such as philosophy, aesthetics, art history and curatorship, among other discourses."

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