Home » VoCA Recommends…Art Power by Boris Groys

VoCA Recommends…Art Power by Boris Groys

We read this book last year, and are now are using it as a reading in a critical writing class. It engages some fascinating questions about art, and criticism.

Boris Groys writes, in his excellent book Art Power:

“In place of the critic in the name of society arose social critique in the name of art: The artwork doesn’t form the object of judgment but is instead taken as a point of departure for a critique aimed at society and the world.”


So the nature of the art object has changed. This isn’t news – art has long been political and since Duchamp, anything has been valid as art. Furthermore, film, video and new media routinely engage and talk back to the audience.

But who are critics judging art for?

Groys continues: “The paradoxical task of judging art in the name of the public while criticizing society in the name of art opens a deep rift within the discourse of contemporary criticism…”

So, we wonder, what is a critic to do? Are critics relevant? If not, what is their renewed purpose?

Buy the book HERE.

One Response to “VoCA Recommends…Art Power by Boris Groys”

  1. Bill says:

    I don’t think the critics’ role is all that complicated. They are judging art (or books, movies or music, etc.) for those of us who are interested, but don’t have the time or energy to take all of it in. They’re kind of like advance troops, clearing the way for the rest of us, or like colanders into which a whole bunch of art & culture stuff is dumped, strained and then only the substantial pieces are offered up for the rest of us to consider consuming. There is so much out there that is dull, poorly produced, pretentious, etc. that I appreciate those who willingly wade through it all so I don’t necessarily have to! The best thing is when you find a critic who shares your sensibility. They can save you so much time!

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