You are invited to a talk by the researcher and art critic Frida Sandström, that is part of the program series Experts of the Undercommons organized by writer, researcher and editor Tobias Dias, postdoc at Aarhus University, in collaboration with Kunsthal Aarhus.
Participation is free, but we recommend securing a seat by taking out a free ticket on Billetto.
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In 1965, American art critic and lesbian activist Jill Johnston published the column “Critics' Critics” in the countercultural magazine Village Voice. Her point was clear: art criticism is too individualist. Borrowing Johnston’s title, the talk focuses on a ‘crisis of representation’ that we see today, but which to a certain extent already culminated around 1968. Parallel to the global social uprisings at this time, the formal subjects of the artist and the critic conflicted with the social figure thereof. Describing this conflict as ‘the double character of the critic,’ we will discuss the ways in which art criticism can be mobilized against itself. The question here is whether such a self-critique can shed light on the social relations presupposed or refused by criticism, without simultaneously reproducing these dynamics in practice. Who are the critics’ critics?
Frida Sandström is an art critic and a PhD fellow in Modern Culture at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen. She is currently working on the PhD thesis, “The Critics’ Critics. Disintegration, Deculturalization, and Objection of Art Criticism in 1969.” Her research centers on the social critique of art criticism undertaken by Carla Lonzi, Jill Johnston, and Adrian Piper between 1955-75. Alongside her research, Sandström has been part of a collective research on “The promise and compulsion of art criticism’s universalism,” together with James Day, Fredrik Svensk and Mikkel Bolt, which resulted in two symposia (2020-2021). During the fall of 2021 and the spring of 2022, Sandström was a visiting research student at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University, London. In the fall of 2023, she will be a visiting researcher at the Swedish Institute in Rome and at Roma Tre. Sandström is currently a guest lecturer in Contemporary Art Theory at The Royal Academy of Art, Copenhagen. She has previously been a lecturing recurrently at Institute for Art and Cultural Studies at The University of Copenhagen, Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, Konstfack – University of Arts and Crafts, and Gerlesborgsskolan. Since 2015, Sandström is a contributing editor at Paletten Art Journal (SE). She writes recurrent art criticism for journals such as Art Forum, Camera Austria and Frieze and has been published widely in Swedish and international newspapers, journals and catalogues. Sandström has shaped interdisciplinary programs and exhibitions such as: “Resonans. Electronic Music and Performing Arts,” (Moderna Museet Stockholm 2018) “Life Choreographies. Infrastructures for a Livable Life,” (Public Art Agency, Stockholm 2019) and “Instant off Grid” (Vita Kuben, Norrlandsoperan 2020).