March 28 - April 3, 2016
Since 2005, Lori Waxman has conducted a work of performance art about art criticism entitled the 60 wrd/min art critic. Through this ongoing performance she has provided brief written reviews to visual artists in various geographical locations, on a first-come, first-served basis.
For three days at University Galleries of Illinois State University, Waxman received artists seeking reviews of their work as part of 60 wrd/min art critic. Reviews, which were free of charge, were scheduled and written in twenty-five-minute increments during these hours: March 24 and March 25, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and March 26, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Reviews were signed, “published,” and ready for pick-up within the timeframe of the performance. Artist, artwork, critic, and review all existed in the same space simultaneously, thereby helping to demystify the art review process. The reviews were posted at the performance site and will remain on view through April 3. In addition, the reviews are published on the WGLT website. WGLT public radio is an NPR affiliate and a service of Illinois State University.
Appointments for Waxman’s reviews were requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Participants were notified via email about appointments and the details of the performance process.
Waxman describes the 60 wrd/min art critic as many things: “an exploration of short-form art writing, a work of performance art in and of itself, an experiment in role shifting between artist and critic, [and] a democratic gesture and a circumvention of the art review process.” She says that at a time when newspaper and magazine art columns are disappearing, the 60 wrd/min art critic “aims to get a community thinking about where the responsibility for art criticism resides…the project deals comically and literally with the idea that there are too many artists and galleries, and not enough critical venues to cover it all.”
Waxman has focused her project on regional arts communities in a wide variety of locations across America, including Detroit; Portland, Maine; and Kansas City, Missouri. In the summer of 2012, a 100-day version was included in dOCUMENTA (13), the major survey of international art held every five years in Kassel, Germany. An artist book of those reviews was later published by Onestar Press, Paris.
Waxman, who was born in Montreal, Canada, writes a biweekly column for the Chicago Tribune. She teaches art history and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, where she wrote her dissertation about walking as a radical aesthetic art form. She is co-author of Girls! Girls! Girls! in contemporary art (2011) and Talking with Your Mouth Full: New Language for Socially Engaged Art (2008).
The 60 wrd/min art critic is a project of the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program. More information on this national project can be found at www.60wrdmin.org. At University Galleries, this project is organized by Senior Curator Kendra Paitz and is sponsored by the Harold K. Sage Foundation and the Illinois State University Foundation Fund.