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Wednesday 02.08.17

« First Thursday Picks February 2017 | Main | Resist at Una Gallery »

Early February links

Artnet explores the issues 7 artists face with the new travel ban.

New Orleans, like Portland is facing housing price increases that are pushing artists out... new development strategies are being undertaken. Portland needs to do this. Portland's art scene vitality defines this city, its our identity and competitive advantage and Portland has to be more proactive. Portland should treat arts activity like a public good amenity and offer incentives for reduced rents and cultural vibrancy built into new developments, especially now that Portland acts as a kind of sanctuary. I am very curious how Portland's city council responds.

Art Critical on the great John Mclaughlin.

MoMA installs artists from countries affected by the travel ban.

Sadly, Jen Graves leaves the Stranger as a full time critic... the last one in Seattle. This comes at a time when critical thinking has been shown itself to be most necessary and lacking while at the same time support for full on professional criticism has ebbed to a low point. Jen and I have always had a great working relationship both taking part in Art in America's 2007 internet art writing roundtable (only Edward Winkleman and I still do it regularly now) and a totally unexpected call out as one of the standouts in the 10th NW biennial (frankly I prefer other critics trying to tear me a new one since I dont have a careerist attitude about making my own work). Jen was always able to walk that tightrope between substantial critical writing and journalism... not an easy marriage since the critical demands a kind of measured subjectivity and journalism is often confused about its relationship to objectivity. Its a tightrope and most artists, gallerists and many institutions dont really understand what criticism is for. It isnt a state fair blue ribbon for your CV, general appreciation (logically can that even exist, it takes specifics) and it isn't for igniting sales. It's more for the civic body. Critiscism is kind of persistent way to inject specific understanding and adrenaline as crisis (criticism = crisis rooted from the Greek word Krisis) into the plumbing that an art ecosystems often tries to obscure and varnish. That reveal and focus on specific elements is something Jen brought to the stranger. I can see why she wouldn't want to manage the production of clickbait etc. It isnt about the # of eyeballs (popularity) but the depth of engagement. It is a persistent practice and very differnt than that practiced by a lay person. Hopefully she will continue to contribute critically in some way. (BTW thank you PORT sponsors for understanding this concept)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 08, 2017 at 11:50 | Comments (0)


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