:: Buzzwords

A return to criticism’s poetic origins


Novelist, poet, publisher, critic and 3:AM contributor Travis Jeppesen explains to Dazed & Confused readers how rejecting lofty art criticism is the way forward. It begins:


When something that starts out as good and pure begins to rot, it turns into an -ism. Art criticism’s devolution into meaningless jargon and buzz over the years is largely the fault of the same academic wankers who go around proclaiming slogans like “the death of criticism,” refusing to offer up anything new by continuing to wallow in the same old verbose inanities that they imagine elevates them into the superior realm of the status quo.

The fact is, most people are victims of their own education. This is true not just for art critics, but for artists as well. Theory is only useful in that it provides some context for understanding art. Art and art writing that comes directly out of theory is almost always bad.

The solution? Don’t drop out of school, kids – education is a good thing – but bear in mind that you will be spending much of your time outside of school trying to unlearn everything you have been taught. De-education is the proper way forward – both for making art and writing about it.

Further: Andrew Gallix‘s interview with Travis Jeppesen

First posted: Thursday, October 16th, 2008.

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