Nearby Café Home > Art & Photography > Photocritic International

Across the Great Divide (2)

Arguing that only a Canadian can understand Canadian photography verges on solipsism. And chastising non-Canadians for not venturing their considerations of such Canadianness, which Canadians would reasonably consider presumptuous, creates a double-bind stuation. [...]

Across the Great Divide (1)

Chancing upon Cousineau-Levine’s volume at a book party in Montreal when it came out, I was amused to open it back in my hotel room only to find it had as its jumping-off point this extreme misinterpretation of my work by a Canadian ― a grammatical misreading that serves as the partial foundation for her entire book. Thus, in her opening paragraphs, Cousineau-Levine undermines her own subsequent argument and impeaches her own scholarship. [...]

Toward Knowledge-Based Criticism (5)

Right now, New York City, certainly one of the major international hubs for photography and photo-based art, has only two or three active and knowledgeable critics of photography ― the same number it had in 1974, four decades ago, when the photo scene here was a fraction of its current size. Pathetic. [...]

Cabin Fever 2014: Bits & Pieces (1)

For years I’ve told people that those of my cohort don’t have memory problems or “senior moments” ― our models just come with smaller hard drives and less RAM. Seems some new evidence supports that proposition. [...]

Toward Knowledge-Based Criticism (4)

I don’t think you can “teach” wild knowledge, any more than you can teach voice and tone; the very notion seems oxymoronic. I don’t think I’ve ever taught anyone to be a critic, or to sound like themselves and no one else. At best, in my own writings and lectures, and teaching, I’ve modeled that, in an eccentric, one-off way. Because, in the last analysis, as the film critic P. Adams Sitney once said, “Criticism isn’t a profession, it’s a disposition of the soul at certain moments.” [...]