C Mag


Experiments in Criticism: David Balzer

Event Details


6 Jan 2020



Criticism and the Artworld: A Conscious Uncoupling
Guided by David Balzer

Presented by C Magazine in association with Vtape

Workshop Dates: January 25-26 and February 1-2; 1-4pm

The Commons @ 401 Richmond
Bachir-Yerex Presentation Space (Boardroom)
4th floor, 401 Richmond Street West
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

Criticism and the Artworld: A Conscious Uncoupling takes up the question of how to use writing—and, fundamentally, thinking—to notice, record and undo facets of international-artworld consumption that have become normalized in Canada. We will explore ways of writing against or alongside the sanctioned meanings that are suggested overtly and/or covertly by the white cube—doing so through a consideration of what autonomy, critical community, interdisciplinarity, humour and audience-orientation in art writing mean. How can you assert yourself as a writer in the artworld when spaces, curation, artists, didactics, and more, are telling you when, how, and why to read art? There will be a strong focus on: subjectivity in practices of evaluation; the politics of visual culture; asserting individual style as a writer; discursive, ambivalent, and/or rhetorical strategies that resist critical writing as an artworld commodity; and strategies that come from the literary world, including showing, not telling.

Expressions of interest will be accepted until January 6, 2020. Registration is limited.

Please note that reading between sessions will occasionally be expected and that some sessions will be facilitated around sharing and discussing drafts of participants’ writing.

Anti-oppression, including mindfulness of unconscious bias, is a key value for all relating in this workshop. We aim to centre BIPOC, LGBTQQIP2SAA, Deaf, Mad and disability-identified communities, and culturally diverse participants. Privileged positions will be seen as such—positions, rather than default ways of seeing and doing things. The workshop will be upheld as an opportunity for mutual support and learning.

Those interested are asked to:

- Email an expression of interest (maximum 500 words) to programs@cmagazine.com by January 6, 2020.
- Confirm you will be able to attend all workshop sessions.
- Submit a deposit of $50 on acceptance, to be returned upon completion of the workshop series. Please let us know if you require financial assistance.

C Magazine engages in an affirmative action framework to actively increase the representation of equity-seeking groups in the arts sector. If you identify as a member of one or more of these groups, you are invited to voluntarily self-identify.

Vtape and 401 Richmond are accessible venues. Please let us know of any accommodation we may provide during the application process or for your participation in the workshops. If you have accessibility concerns or special requests, please contact programs@cmagazine.com

Participants will be informed of the status of their application by January 10, 2020.

David Balzer is a writer, editor and educator. He is the author of two books, Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else, winner of ICA London’s Book of the Year, and the short-fiction collection Contrivances. In 2015, he won the International Award for Art Criticism. He has written about art and culture for the Guardian, Frieze, Artforum, the Globe and Mail, The Believer and others, and was editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Canadian Art from 2016 to 2019. He is currently working on his next nonfiction book in tkaronto/Toronto.

EXPERIMENTS IN CRITICISM is a yearlong education program devised by C Magazine to nurture and promote interdisciplinary critical literacy around contemporary art. Participants in a series of workshops aimed at youth aged 18 to 30, developed with and guided by community leaders, explore unique approaches to art criticism, and a symposium in Spring 2020 offers a forum for presenting forms of experimental criticism. The symposium also coincides with C Magazine’s Spring 2020 issue 145 Criticism, Again. For more information and the EXPERIMENTS IN CRITICISM SYMPOSIUM Call for Proposals, visit: symposium.cmagazine.com

C Magazine acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Council for the Arts’ Sector Innovation program. We also wish to thank the sites, venues and various organizations that participate in and support the Experiments in Criticism program.