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art criticism workshop

Organizing Committee:



A four-week workshop on what can be considered, in the most general sense, art criticism.

This could take the format of a writing workshop divided among three lines of engagement:

- discussing critical texts (recent and otherwise) from outside of the group;

- workshopping texts from participants;

- and initiating/organizing formal and methodological experiments in writing about art (co-authoring, misinterpreting, constraint writing, and so forth).

Ultimately, I don’t think it should be all that complicated. Just a space/time where a group of people interested in writing about art can get together and do just this. 











will you do this again?
sounds interesting.
how was it?

hey I thought we were going to meet this tue. but i just saw that the meeting hasn't been scheduled.
I wouldn't have had new stuff to bring anyway.
do we consider the workshop "completed"?


Liebe Leute, just wanted to say that this sat the 15th from 7pm there's the opening of the new exhibit @ SRS
maybe something we could write about (or not), I'll probably go anyway.

Cuvrystr. 3-4
10997 Berlin-Kreuzberg
Schlesisches Tor (U1)

Bis bald,

Interested parties that weren't at the first workshops are more than welcome, and writing your own text is not necessary - engage with the discussion about art criticism at whatever level you feel appropriate.

yes, fine for me too!
7pm Tuesday 11 October seems to suit everyone.

yes i can make it too

7pm is ok for me

fiona geuss's picture

hello everybody,

would it be ok to meet on tuesday at 7pm instead of 8pm?

i have the keys, so just let me know.


i just confirmed the next meeting for the 11th of october; i won't be there, but you guys can go on.

as i said above:
for the next meeting, some of us wanted to go to the following show and maybe write something about it; it ends on the 3rd of october, so if you wanna go, go fast:
if people don't feel like writing, they're also warmly invited to bring a text they like and we'll discuss that. we try to get different approaches to art criticism and figure out their ups and downs. if someone doesn't want to write or bring anything, he or she can of course still come.

hope to see everyone at the end of october!

my review below. looking forward to our next meeting!

The medium-size room is totally painted light green—-that catches my attention first. Walls, ceiling and floor—-all light green. Rectangular boxes of different heights are distributed along the space. Their length and depth are always the same-–around 80 centimeter long and 60 centimeter wide. Their height is variable.

The room has one column, in the middle. The column is painted light green too. Its length and depth are like the length and depth of the rest of the rectangular boxes, which makes the column look as a rectangular box too. But unlike the others, the column reaches the ceiling. It is transmitting the weight of the building to its foundations. I allow myself to see the rectangular boxes as columns too-—decorative columns.

The light green color makes everything light. This makes me feel as if there were a progress of only one ethereal column, slowly growing in height from the floor to the ceiling. This progress is cleanly performed, was it not for one of the boxes: the tallest one before the column. This tall rectangular box is placed just a few centimeters away from one of the walls, and I notice that box and wall are not parallel. The box is slightly but noticeably slanted. The progression I feel has a slight deviance. I wonder about deviance, in general.

In another room – this one black – a video is being screened. It shows the artists collecting microbes in light green, 80 by 60 centimeter trays, in the countryside. The trays are filled with nutrients, which later on made the microbes develop into colonies of fungi. The colonies, now covered with a glass, are exhibited on the top of each rectangular box. I can anticipate the discourse about these fungi, their possible symbolism, metaphorical value, analogy or parallelism in regards to urban development or population behavior. I decide that that is already a cliché, look away, admire the invisible forces of the columns, being them structural or not, and wonder about their difference.

here's my review; there are some factual errors in it (as i learnt today, the distribution of the vitrines is not random, and they contain bacteria rather than fungi), but whatever.

The revenge of the invisible – a review of the dominions exhibition at program

as georg simmel noted in his sociology of the senses, one can possess only the visible; the transience of sound prevents it from being captured, and the senses of smell and taste underlie an equally intangible temporal regime. only what we see, we can possess - and only what we possess no longer threatens us.

it is this particular distribution of the visible and invisible, the threatening and the appeasing, that explains the widespread paranoia that followed koch and pasteur's discovery that germs are the main cause of diseases, and that, indeed, they are everywhere. using increasingly complex optical instruments, they made visible our invisible Other, and put fear in the hearts of the populace that still couldn't see.

A similar gesture is at stake in the exhibition Dominions by Julian Charrière & Andreas Greiner. Boxes of varying heights are randomly distributed throughout the gallery space. The boxes are covered by a glass plate, often moistened by condensed water, under which one can see different fungus cultures, the result of the collection of spores in different places throughout Germany.

The first thing that struck me was the variation between the boxes. While the artist's procedure was quite the same for every box (collect invisible spores, wait for fungus to emerge, display fungus culture in a box), some boxes contain dark and clearly delineated round blobs of fungous material, others a white foamy material spread throughout the display, and others a colorful collection of seemingly disordered blobs. Despite the ordering gestures of the artist (boxes of similar size filled using a similar procedure), the disorder of the invisible preempts any attempt at regularity. Repetition is the breeding ground of difference, and disorder rules even where we cannot see.

What this exhibition tells us is that no matter how extensive our attempts to impose order on our universe, disorder always has the last laugh. Our universe will never be truly ours, and our apollonian attempts are no match for the dionysian force of life that springs up all around us. The spores that grew into these fungus were not collected in exotic places, not even in the forest, but on restaurant terraces, cultivated land, and plots next to the highway. We breathe these germs and spores, even now, as we are speaking - but it takes a collection of displayed fungus cultures to make us aware of this.

Besides referring to a domain in the broad sense of the term, the word dominion also denotes a supreme authority – as when we speak of Poland under the dominion of Russia. In this semantic field, dominion implies an absolute sovereignty, the full governmental possession of one entity by another. But if these mycological dominions show us anything, it is that full possession is necessarily a fantasy, always already contaminated by the unseen presence of subversive entities that only await the right conditions for rearing their heterogeneous heads. The uncanny lesson of Dominions is that we are not even in full possession of ourselves.



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