no art no art critic



What does my art and that of others actually mean?

What does it mean to ask for meaning?

What does it mean to write criticism?

What does meaning mean?

The division of labor between the ones who make art and the ones who write about art is so common to us that we no longer see how the current state of affairs came to be and how artificial this division actually is. It seems everybody who makes art is looking for written criticism nowadays. “Good” criticism makes people happy but bad criticism is better than no criticism at all. It is as if works of art are ontologically “incomplete” if they are not scrutinized by a independent evaluation of meaning, quality, and / or value through being exposed to good or bad criticism. Needless to say, critics as such can only exist and make sense if there is something produced to be written about in the first place. NO ART NO ART CRITIC. Art could also live without its written shadow. But in that case, what could be lost? This is not (yet) to say that art crit-icism as a genre of text has no value or even the right to exist, but to question its power to make art exist and therefore the artist to exist. Art criticism is the little fuzzy ill-bred sister of both art history and philosophical aesthetics, and as such, a muddy derivative that connects the whole apparatus of art institutions like a thread weaving meaning into the system of what we call the art world: museums, galleries, art magazines, collectors, curators, artists, critics themselves and indeed the motherfucking market. They are all high on the dope of meaning that makes up art criticism. In the process of creating art, one also always applies both meaning and criticism into the process. But that does not mean that the artist is by nature his or her best critic or has, by any means, a privileged access to the meaning and value of their own art. Indeed, it is all too common that artists refuse to explain their art to the public. This is not necessarily out of laziness but out of deep fear. Meaning is not innocent especially in times of fake news and the WWW. Things get complicated at this point and that's what this workshop is all about.

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Technically the workshop has the goal to make participants write art criticism about their own work and and the work of others and to discuss the results and question the meaning of the criticism. The texts, works and the discussion will be lay to rest in small publication by MONDO books.

The workshop will be held at Small Projects in Tromsø by Nicolas Siepen and Tanya Busse in collaboration with MONDO books

NICOLAS SIEPEN is an artist, film maker, writer and publisher (b_books) who works as a freelance art critic from time to time for numerous art magazines and newspapers.

TANYA BUSSE is an artist, film maker and publisher (MONDO books)


Monday 24th to Saturday 29th of September

10:00 – 17:00 each day

Grønnegata 23, Small Projects

Deadline for registration is THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20.

Sign up by sending an email with your full name and short info about yourself to:

The workshop is free of charge and open to all.

The workshop will be in English.

Warm-up links:

NO ART NO ART CRITIC er utviklet av Nicolas Siepen og Tanya Busse som en del av Troms fylkeskommunes prosjekt "Utvikling og formidling av kunstkritikk i Troms".

Prosjektet "Utvikling og formidling av kunstkritikk i Troms" er utviklet i samarbeid med Kunsthistorie v/ Institutt for språk og kultur, UiT, Kunstakademiet i Tromsø, UiT, Den kulturelle skolesekken - Kultur i Troms, Nordnorsk kun-stmuseum, Nordnorsk kunstnersenter, Mondo Books, Tekstbyrået og Nicolas Siepen, kunstner, skribent og tidligere professor ved Kunstakademiet i Tromsø.

Troms fylkeskommune ønsker gjennom satsing på kunstkritikk å bidra til økt bevissthet om visuell kunst i Troms, særlig samisk samtidskunst og kultur, og kunst i offentlige rom. Fylkeskommunen vil jobbe for å rekruttere flere kunstkritikere som kan bidra til at kunstfeltet i Troms får mulighet til å definere seg selv ut i fra egne premisser.

Prosjektet «Utvikling og formidling av kunstkritikk i Troms» er støttet av Kulturrådet.

Wednesday - Sunday
12:00 - 17:00
Monday - Tuesday
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