Magazine article Artforum International

"Critics Taste Better": Korridor

Magazine article Artforum International

"Critics Taste Better": Korridor

Article excerpt

Artists rarely write letters to the editor in response to reviews of their exhibitions. Then again, the letter format precludes most artists from responding in their chosen medium. It's a pity, since many opportunities for exchange are lost: Critics never get critique, while artists never get to participate in a truly interactive public dialogue.

"Critics Taste Better" offered a corrective by pairing seven Berlin-based artists with as many critics, some living in the city and some beyond: Jonathan Meese with Thomas Groetz, Elke Marhofer with Raimar Stange, Andreas Zybach with Dan Fox, Maureen Jeram with Hans-Jurgen Hafner, Myriam Holme with Aurelie Voltz, Egil Saebjornsson with Power Ekroth, and Kerstin Cmelka with Emily Speers Mears. Although the title implied that critics' "superior" tastes can make them at once cannibalistic and edible, the show offered a gentler form of feedback: Each critic saw one artwork and wrote a comment on it, to which the artist replied with yet another work (or by altering the piece under critique). No originals were on display; instead, this dialogue was captured with a triptych of digital prints, like reproductions of an art magazine. The golden frames around the lowly paper copies and the red carpet running through the space portrayed the review as the ultimate exhibition site for an artist's work.

I've never attended such a quiet opening: Viewers, transformed into readers, stood rapt in front of the texts and studiously compared the works, before and after critique. Marhofer made a minor adjustment to her initial effort, while Cmelka, Zybach, Jeram, and Holme responded with new works. If anything, this exercise showed that print can hold our attention longer than images. Meese and Saebjornsson, who used text in their replies, understood that the critics' interventions would introduce a slower, more detailed way of looking. …

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