From: Jonathan Bailey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 08/21/02-08:15:38 PM Z
> I'd say you mis-read, misinterpreted the statement . . and virtually my
> whole note. First, it was prefaced by the need for art education at all
> levels in the school system. When one then arrives at college level the
> critique may (perhaps) hold greater meaning as it could rightly be better
> However, I could easily have miswritten or misstated my intent. I
> wished, or
> intended, to say my interest in the critiquing is to find positive threads
> through the work. If the thread leads nowhere or is poorly executed it is
> then necessary and appropriate to not be "pleasant".
I would like to wholeheartedly agree with you here, Jack. And add (perhaps
to your consternation):
Far too many "critiques" are simply vicious venting on the parts of
instructors and students alike. I am deeply suspicious of "crit's...." and
I do not offer to give them in my classes and workshops. It may be that I
am in a privileged situation in that my teaching is limited to workshop
situations, with motivated and (generally) more sophist acted participants.
It is my observation that anger is free floating and self-perpetuating. And
I prefer, as much as possible, to avoid a life lived in negation. Most of
the critiques I've witnessed and heard tell of flow directly out of
negation: there is nothing altruistic happening to my eye. It does not
strike me as useful. This "school of hard knocks" of which is spoken awaits
us regardless: the philosophy of "Spare the rod and spoil the child" has
been as clearly debunked as "an eye for an eye...."
In my opinion - "Crit's," as they are commonly practiced today in higher
education are about power and ego - the ability of someone to feel superior
to and more powerful than the persons whose work you sit in judgment of....
It *is* a shame that so many persons today feel the need for validation to
continue working (supposedly) found in college and university programs.
There still are fences which will have to be climbed; they'll have to be
climbed sooner or later - with or without that MFA. But in the meantime, it
sees to me as an instructor our first responsibility is like that of a
medical doctor: "First, do no damage...."
Tenants Harbor, Maine
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