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Artishok Biennale. A + B = AB2014, Mūkusala Art Salon, Riga - Ivars Gravlejs
September 27th, 2014
01:32 pm

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Artishok Biennale. A + B = AB2014, Mūkusala Art Salon, Riga

Foto: Didzis Grodzs


"Untitled", 2014

As one of the invited artists for Artichoke biennale, I decided to write a short text about how I understand the role and function of an artist and an art critic.
In the context of Artichoke biennale critic is no more critic, because critic can make a response on artist work using any artistic means. Why do we need to invite critics to reflect on artist works, if a traditional method of disciplined, systematic analysis will be ignored or deformed?
Artist can play a role of an idiot to mirror the state of society or to make a provocative gesture in the context of art. The task of critic is to evaluate - is the artist just an idiot or the work of art is about idiots? If a critic shows his/her tongue or paints an abstraction as a response to art work, dealing with narrow-mindedness, then both of them end up presenting themselves as idiots.
If we accept that the border between art and life has faded, then who else will evaluate and propose criteria for artists and audience, if not critics?
Often it happens, that educated art theorists don’t understand a thing about art, but willingly jabber and speculate with those, who know even less.
If there is no distinction between function of an artist and function of a critic, if everyone is an artist, then the days of Artist are numbered. Do organizers of Artichoke biennale want to say that it is the end of art? Or that in postmodern situation there is no fundamental criteria, everything can be easily mixed?
In reality, artist is very dependent and forced to submit to those in charge. As the saying goes - if a critic doesn’t write about you, you don’t exist.
Does the purpose of the project is to belittle the questionable role of artist even more?


Ivars Gravlejs




Text was presented in the same way as critics creations (A2 paper size).

AB is an exhibition format combining 10 artists with works created for AB and 10 critics reflecting about each of the works on display. Critics' accomplishments was presented in the exhibition alongside the newly made artworks.

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