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Sunday 05.31.15

« Richard Hunt & Lee Kelly at PNCA | Main | Hallie Ford 2015 Fellows »

Weekend links

Jerry Saltz reviews Jessica Jackson Hutchins latest. She is a Portlander. Interesting that he doesn't bring up Kienholz, which seems pretty obvious. She's different of course, there's a debt to Tracey Emin in there as well but nobody brings YBA's into the discussion around leading women in art today. They should.

Even Andreas Gursky has difficulties using trademarked super heroes.

PORT's own Tori Abernathy had a great deal of exposure this last week... nice to see the mainstream press catching onto the issue of the arts and "creatives" being pushed out by developmentof supporting alternative art spaces. Perhaps Portland could look at Vancouver BC's Community Amenity Contribution system to ensure the arts are not pushed out?

This was a fascinating read on conflicts of interests for reviewers at the New York Times. It is a must read for those who think they understand how criticism is supposed to work. Fact is, criticism and journalism are not the same thing and ultimately a true critic is a very different beast than a traditional journalist. For example, we here at PORT prefer writers who know/explore their subjects intimately, and we try to make art personal in order to be more insightful... not simply ticking off a few references and a restatement of the artist's statement. More traditional journalists avoid entanglements to convey a quick and clearer understanding to a broader audience, whereas critics utilize entanglements (often through deep insider info) to promote a more nuanced civic discussion that goes beyond the small art-centric circle around the artist. Put it this way, it is about analyzing civilization, not just the art world,literary world, food world etc. Yes you can be both but only a critic would want to be both considering all the entanglements it creates. Personally, I am a historian/curator variety who practices criticism with teeth. There are many different types and all serious critics do have criteria or rules they operate by (the NYT's article was actually quite similar to how we handle things here... probably because it is the only way to get relevant, non-sycophantic reviews).

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 31, 2015 at 13:54 | Comments (1)


In Jerry Saltz's piece on Jessica he mentions toward the beginning "the breakout show at Ten in One Gallery in 2001". This was a small but smart show in my project room space that must have stuck with Jerry at the time, and I was surprised to see it mentioned as I read the review! I'm also now a Portland resident (11 years running...)

Posted by: Joel Leib [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 4, 2015 10:46 PM

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