motion \\ some gradation


some gradation interrogates the nature of studio critique, its objectives and the criteria of valuation.

≠ What are the aims of a studio critique?
≠ What constitute a successful studio critique, when does it fail?
≠ What are the grounds for aesthetic valuation and judgement?


some criticism of critiques I have personally experienced:

  • teacher as authority 
  • orientation of students in accord with modes of validation defined by set project brief (learning objectives, material/technical requirements, time frame), historical references, authorised apparatus (exhibitions, chosen medium), capitalist institution (galleries, collectors) 
  • lack of empathy / inadequate in identifying with the presenter's subjectivities, often due to a lack of time to build relationships 
  • ideas sharing session is not a critique 


some values to be established: 
  • “To doubt one’s own expertise and speak that doubt within the framework of a critique is to cleave a space for unlearning.” 
  • “It would be prudent to take the contingency of one’s position as a given and use the framework of the critique to reveal and examine the assumptions that underlie the creation and reception of the art work.”¹ 
  • A space to investigate and address power structure prevalent within the group and how it affects an individual’s judgement. 
  • Intent on helping each individual focus on self-actualisation through the development of criticality beyond received and socially accepted idea, in the setting of a community or groupness. 

some formats to be explored:
  • long durational crit 
  • affiliated critical theory reading group (alternate week)


Michael Asher’s Post Studio Art

In 1977, Michael Asher began teaching John Baldessari’s Post-Studio class as an adjunct professor. The class structures itself around the format of an extended group critique of a single student’s work, lasting for eight or more hours. stamina

Christopher Williams:

“He had an endless supply of questions for any one student, and the duration… I wouldn’t want to say that it would break you down, but at a certain point, bullshitting would be much harder.”²

Quotes from Walk-Through (extract):

“The profession lecturer is aband in the learning process. First of all, the teacher should be hauled down off the podium and into the audience. At which point they would undergo a dramatic transformation from teacher, the embodiment of all wisdom, to discussion leader.”

“I think that one function of it is that it sets a structural value system to think about the work, it says that actually is the most important thing. It is not important to get it done in time, to have it make sense quickly or have a good story.”

“Only when the teacher is so transformed, positionally and functionally, will the student be actively involved in the learning process. Ditto for the chamber itself, uniformity of classroom design will be anathema. The room will be designed for class discussion not stage performance, for dialogue not monologue.”³


¹ Sreshta Rit Premnath, “Sreshta Rit Premnath: Critique as Unlearning,” e-flux conversations, December 22, 2016, accessed December 22, 2016, http://conversations.e-flux.com/t/sreshta-rit-premnath-critique-as-unlearning/5722

² Christopher Williams, “Christopher Williams on Post Studio and Michael Asher,” East of Borneo, October 15, 2012, accessed December 26, 2016, http://www.eastofborneo.org/archives/christopher-williams-on-post-studio-and-michael-asher

³ Various voices, “Walk Through (extract),” 00:18:00, 2012, https://vimeo.com/100682129

1 comment:

  1. Content of the school:
    - exploring how to self-organise