The following essay was originally titled Who Needs an Art Critic: Law and the Space of Writing, and written for the 2010 CAA Conference in Chicago, Ill. I am now making it available in its entirety, and will appear in five parts, beginning today. The five part series will continue tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday, and conclude on Friday. Enjoy.
Who Needs an Art Critic: Law and Art Criticism, Part I
Art criticism, as it stands, is devoid of any substance and content. As if that isn’t enough, art criticism suffers from a lack of relevance, freshness and, most importantly, timeliness. But it is art criticism’s own arrogant ignorance of law which has led it to its own demise, for the practice and theory of law has affected, and continues to affect, the production and reception of art.
This past January, The Atlantic‘s Michael Kinsley wrote about why people are turning from newsprint media to the internet. In his article, “Cut This Story!,” Kinsley particularly bashed the New York Times, and although his criticism was aimed at newspapers in general, his thoughts are apropos to this panel. In a nutshell, Kinsley’s sharp critique confronts not only the fact that newspapers like the New York Times are politically biased, but also that this political bias is but one factor in making news articles lengthy and wordy—needlessly so. Kinsley points out that the other factor in making print publications near-obsolete is the fact that writers and journalists speak at length about everything but the actual story; newspaper articles are too long, yet internet news articles get to the point.