For first time presenters, the crit is a deadline, an opportunity to talk in front of a crowd. It is a chance to get public feedback, but also a moment to gather one’s ideas and look at the work objectively. Choosing the display elements (plinths, wall, frame…) and the venue for the presentation also introduces issues such as context, site awareness and considering the public you are addressing.
The Crit, presentation or “Discourse Review” (this is the name of the presentations of the work by advanced students at Metàfora) is also a forum where we discuss the links between a student’s investigation and the work of other artists, writers and thinkers within critical theory. In this way, the entire student group gets exposed to linking practice and theory, and how a broad sustent is necessary for any art practice.
Based on my on personal experience – both as an art student and as the designer of a professionalising art program – I know just how important a good crit can be in crucial moments of a student’s development. Sometimes the outcome is simply food for thought or useful observations to take with you back to the studio. But sometimes it is eye opening – in certain cases that which decides whether you continue or not on a path through the jungle of art making.
Director of Metàfora’s Studio Arts Programs