Achille Bonito Oliva
Ho Tzu Nyen
The Critics. The three days symposium is structured around a series of lectures, conversations, and panel discussions, creating a variety of moments for dialogue between the invited guests and the public. The speakers include an international spectrum of art critics, from as far afield as Manila, New York, Istanbul and Montreal, along with several voices from closer to home.
Over the course of several months, Witte de With presents a program of three symposia, titled Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists. Structured to establish a lively platform for debate and exchange, these symposia explore the practice of three of the central protagonists of the contemporary art world: the critic, the curator and the artist. Are these still the cultural actors who decide what is made, what is seen, and whether it is any good?
The art critic will be the subject of the first symposium, to be held on 9, 10 & 11 October 2008, titled Rotterdam Dialogues: the Critics. These three days are structured around a series of lectures, conversations, and panel discussions, creating a variety of moments for dialogue between the invited guests and the public.
Currently all symposium days have been fully booked, however reserved tickets which are not collected will be made available for sale at 1 p.m. on each day of the symposium, half an hour prior to the start of the daily program.
The speakers include an international spectrum of art critics, from as far afield as Manila, New York, Istanbul and Montreal, along with several voices from closer to home. Together they represent a range of media, from glossy art magazines, to online blogs and daily newspapers. Speakers from the world of academia will also be present, along with several artists who write. Rotterdam Dialogues: the Critics will reveal the people behind contemporary written art discourse, giving the public a chance to question their editorial decisions on what is offered to the reader, what is omitted and why.
The speakers include: Jennifer Allen (Artforum), Andrew Berardini (TheExpandedField.com), Achille Bonito Oliva (art historian); Martijn Boven (8weekly), Matthew Collings (BBC), Ingrid Commandeur (Metropolis M), Diedrich Diederichsen (Prof.), Edo Dijksterhuis (Het Financieele Dagblad), Richard Dyer (Contemporary), Dominic Eichler (frieze), Isabelle Graw (Texte zur Kunst), Tim Griffin (Artforum), Melissa Gronlund (Afterall), Eva Karcher (Monopol, Vogue), Koen Kleijn (De Groene Amsterdammer), Sven Lütticken (Prof.), Niklas Maak (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), Sina Najafi (Cabinet), Ho Tzu Nyen (Art Asia Pacific), Chantal Pontbriand (Parachute), Dirk Pültau (De Witte Raaf), Mark Rappolt (ArtReview), Dieter Roelstraete (Afterall), Margriet Schavemaker (Prof.), Edgar Schmitz (Kunstforum International), Georg Schöllhammer (Springerin), Simon Sheikh (Prof.), Judy Freya Sibayan (Ctrl+P), Nick Stillman (Bomb), Richard Streitmatter-Tran (diacritic.org), Jordan Strom (The Fillip Review), Pelin Tan (Muhtelif), Eric Troncy (Frog), Jan Verwoert (frieze), Michal Wolinski (Piktogram.
Each day has an overarching theme, which is then subdivided into more precise topics and questions:
Thursday Oct 9 – Expectations, looking at questions such as editorial authority - who decides what we read about whom? Can criticism be taught? What does the public expect from art criticism, and what of artists’ expectations?
Friday Oct 10 – Positions, exploring the critic’s role in relation to the artist, to the audience, and to the art market, questioning the possibilities for criticality and independence in a field increasingly dominated by advertising.
Saturday Oct 11 – Contexts, examining the conditions that are necessary for art criticism to flourish – what is the key to an enduring art magazine? What possibilities can be created by DIY criticism, and how are new media changing the audience for art criticism?
Masterclass & Workshop
On Monday 13 October, 2 - 5 p.m. Tim Griffin (editor in chief of Artforum International) will give a masterclass for MA students and young professionals, exploring the notion of editorial authority. He will speak from his experience of editing an art magazine, answering questions about what being an editor entails and what it takes to run a contemporary art magazine. If you wish to participate in the symposium, please reserve via firstname.lastname@example.org. Numbers are limited and participants will be chosen in order of receipt of their application.
Immediately prior to the symposium, and throughout the weekend, Melissa Gronlund (editor of Afterall) will give a closed workshop to a group of students from several Dutch universities. Examining different modes of art criticism, and the differences between criticism and the production of critical discourse, Gronlund guides the students in creating a section for the publication
appearing at the end of the symposium series Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists.
Elements of each symposia comprising Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists will be compiled in a publication to appear in mid 2009. It will feature contributions by many of the speakers, but also by invited observers and by participants in the workshop and masterclass.
Parallel to Rotterdam Dialogues: the Critics, Witte de With has scheduled three special events, which are also open to people not attending the symposium:
Thursday Oct 9, 6 p.m.:
Award ceremony for the Prize for Young Dutch Art Criticism, an initiative of Witte de With, The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (Fonds BKVB) and de Appel. Location: Zaal de Unie, Mauritsweg 34, Rotterdam (Language: Dutch), www.jongekunstkritiek.net, free entry.
Friday Oct 10, 7:00 p.m.:
Book launch of Diedrich Diederichsen’s book On (Surplus) Value in Art, the first of the Reflections series published by Witte de With and Sternberg Press. Reception at Witte de With in the presence of the author, free entry.
Saturday Oct 11, 8:30 p.m.:
OFF the PAGE performance program and party at DSPS / DE PLAYER, Tolhuisstraat 107, Rotterdam. Entrance 6€, free entry to symposium ticket holders. See the program at www.stdsps.nl.
Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists is conceived by Zoë Gray, Nicolaus Schafhausen and Ariadne Urlus.
Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists is generously supported by the Mondriaan Foundation, VSBfonds and SNS REAAL Fonds.
Time: Registration daily from 12:30 p.m. Program starts daily at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets: 1 day ticket: €15 (€10*), 3 day ticket: € 40 (€25*)
* reduction for students, Friends of Witte de With
October 9, 2008 - October 11, 2008
Witte de With, 3rd floor
Witte de Withstraat 50 - Rotterdam