Visiting Artists Lecture #6 - Christina Schmid
4 April 2013
The lecture by Christina Schmid was different than the rest of the lectures we've heard thus far in class. Early in the talk, she said, "What I do is very mysterious," which I found very interesting. Schmid is a writer and an art critic, and I liked how she described her practice as "writing with art, rather than writing about art." I had never heard someone talk about being an art critic/writer, so I found the talk very engaging.
I was happy to hear Christina talk about how she makes an effort not to impose her own theoretical framework around the art she is discussing. I usually picture art critics as just writing down their first impressions of the art as it impacts them, so it was refreshing to hear how she makes an effort to "engage with the art on its own terms." She also noted that, while it is easy (and perhaps sometimes fun) to write bad reviews about things you hate, it is important to still make an argument for a positive review and give people a reason to care about the work.
Another part of her talk that I really enjoyed was how she described the importance of art criticism and being able to write about art, because once the exhibition is taken down, the writing is all we have left. I hadn't thought of it in this way before, but now lately I have been thinking about the importance of writing about art and archiving. She noted that many artists are not great at describing or talking about their work, and I absolutely agree with this, especially when the meaning of the piece is meant to be left up to the viewer. The open ended-ness of a lot of art makes it difficult to discuss without imposing your own viewpoints and ideas onto it. I liked how Christina made an effort to follow the art and the artist in order to learn more, without imposing her own framework onto it right away.