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Debate : Now what?

Round table
03 05 2011 00:00 01:00

On market dominance in the arts sector. On the need for renewed vitality in art criticism.

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Débat Et maintenant

Followed by the presentation of the book Kunstkritiek' by Hilde Van Gelder and Laurens Dhaenens
With, among others, Anna Tilroe, Paul Tanghe, Lieven De Cauter and Dorian Van der Brempt.
Moderator: Jef Lambrecht

Two important books on art criticism appeared in late 2010. In De Ja-sprong, naar een nieuwe vitaliteit in de kunst', Anna Tilroe makes a number of suggestions for renewed vitality in art and art criticism. Her pamphlet is based on an analysis of the current dominance of the art market and the changing power relations this has brought about. On the other hand, Hilde Van Gelder and Laurens Dhaenens have collected in the anthology Kunstkritiek' an interesting selection of texts by Belgian, Dutch and international figures on the current values and possibilities of art criticism. Both publications complement one another perfectly.

Following these publications, BAM and VTi organized a workshop with Anna Tilroe on the need for renewed vitality in art and art criticism. The participants' essays appeared in a slim volume entitled Over de nood aan een nieuwe vitaliteit in de kunstkritiek', published by BAM, deBuren and VTi. This short book is available free of charge with HART (no. 80, 21 April 2011) and rekto:verso (May 2011) as well as through the organizing partners.

In addition, BAM, deBuren and VTi will hold a debate with Anna Tilroe on 3 May from 19:00 to 21:00 at WIELS on the topic: Now what? On market dominance in the arts sector. On the need for renewed vitality in art criticism'.

Politicians who sneer at the arts, budgets that are being cut, museum attendance statistics and sales figures that are seen as qualitative criteria: there is no doubt that the arts sector is changing. Museum directors are turning into managers, artists are now media sensations, and critics have become mere publicists. Free-market principles and its related interests increasingly dictate what we get to see as art and how meaning is given to it. Is this an unstoppable development? Are we merely passive spectators? Or shall we look for an answer that will also speak to the world outside the arts sector itself?

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