Home » VoCA Asks for Your Advice

VoCA Asks for Your Advice

Ok, ok people, you pummeled VoCA for THIS post, with many comments…

Tell VoCA what you want. Image: smh.com.au

Some agreed, saying “I feel like this this revulsion I’m experiencing is the desired effect: Trecartin would endeavour to highlight contemporary culture’s more outlandish aspects by combining them all into one loathsome beast” and “bad taste, as well as bad technique are the point! Maybe that’s the case here.”

But most blasted my “poorly poorly argued and supported judgments,” my “impatience with the work’s rigor, (that) shows a complete misunderstanding for the medium, and is lazy criticism,” suggesting that perhaps “sometimes aggressively queer work makes (me) feel uncomfortable.”

There have also been numerous suggestions and comments from readers sent to me off the blog.

So, I want to say that I hear you.

I welcome your comments on what you’d like to see in a critical art blog, below.


10 Responses to “VoCA Asks for Your Advice”

  1. Rhonda says:

    Hi Andrea:

    I thought your critics were somewhat harsh the other day and I did feel compelled to write in with support. I’m constantly amazed by the tone people allow themselves to display in public.

    It’s always a risk to stick one’s self out there and give an opinion. We are all entitled to our own opinions as are those that wrote in to question what you wrote.

    There is absolutely nothing objective about art opinion. This variable is what it makes it so fascinating and exciting. Nothing is a given, especially in the face of the miriad of art forms and glut of production in this day and age.

    We can’t all like everything and I don’t think that’s of any value. It would render it all meaningless. Loathing is air time and air time is dialogue. It’s all good. Maybe negative criticism is hard on the ego, but it’s better than being ignored.

    What your readers (who despite their vitriol must appreciate your presence or they wouldn’t get it up to give you s^!+) seem to be demanding a more rigorous analysis (details and specifics about the work) of your reasons for loathing and loving.

    In other words, take the criticism and learn from it (critics need as thick a skin as those they review) but keep on contributing to the dialogue.



  2. sally says:

    what Rhonda said!

    Also, nothing gets the art blog world hotter under the collar than discussions about what art criticism should or should not be. There’s a lot of anxiety about that issue right now. You are covering a diversity of Canadian art for a broad audience, which is a good thing.

    One of the things that sometimes makes me frustrated with VOCA’s tone is the use of the royal ‘we’. It puts the writing in an awkward position between expressing personal response and making authoritative, universalising statements. If I were you (which I am not…the beauty of blogs is you can do whatever you want) I would not worry so much about trying to position your blog as a “critical” site. Just go ahead and be yourself – personal opinions are valid and interesting.

  3. Bill says:

    – As my dad says: Don’t let the bastards grind you down!

  4. Wil says:

    I second Bill.
    Do what you do, it’s your blog.
    We all suck at commenting when we like something.

  5. Lisa says:

    I wrote a comment the other day on the Trecartin post and I stand behind it. But I agree with the commenters here that you should do your own thing and measure yourself by your own standards. A blog is a public forum. People are bound to want to debate this stuff. But you need to be true to yourself. Personally, I read VoCA to find out what’s going on in my former stomping grounds. Thanks for keeping me in the loop. :)

  6. Jakub says:

    I like to see “I love” and “I hate” articles. There is a difference between saying “I hate this” and “this is shit”, the former being much more constructive as it doesn’t claim to be anything more than the writer’s opinion. If I want to read a positive, critical analysis that considers the artist’s influences and places the work in the context of art in the last two hundred years I buy the catalogue.

  7. Francesca says:

    I third Bill. At the risk of sounding like daytime tv or something, I think a lot of people, in the art world and elsewhere, are fairly insecure and probably think a lot, in their spare time, thoughts like “how come I’m not famous/important/an art critic” etc. So when they get hostile, they are probably working a lot of things out *at* you, that aren’t really about you, if you get my drift.

  8. Hrag says:

    I like when you have strong opinions. If people don’t agree with you, that’s not your problem.

  9. lola says:

    Criticality can be about saying something as simple as “I love or hate X”, but it’s not super interesting to read. I’d rather read your opinion on WHY you hate or love something based on something other than a feeling, and support those statements like you know what you’re talking about. Mainly because I think you do. So why not dig a little deeper? Maybe I shouldn’t but I assume someone with such investment in the arts, who works in the arts, and who asks her readers what the hell they want to read is invested in this blog. Personal “views” especially those rooted in professional interest are deeper than likes and dislikes. Personally, I could ask any random art goer what they thought about the RT show and they would have given me the same straight-edge, quick response. I happen to have researched and curated RT’s work and I admit I have watched way way too many of his videos in repeat… Maybe that’s my bias, that I’ve invested in figuring out his videos and I can not see how they (even if hated) can be taken as so shallow. So in terms of what I need from any random person’s blog? Nothing in particular. But what I need from an art and criticism blog is something a little more thought provoking. If you’re not invested in criticism though, I’ll simply look elsewhere and move on. There are plenty out there. But I was excited that a Canadian women in the arts started this blog, and hoped to see some stimulating engagement with what VoCA reviewed so that maybe “it” could be useful, much like the criticism of critics we hate to love or love to hate in larger art hubs, but that enrich our sector through the negotiation of subjective views and its connections to outsourced references that continue to influence us.

  10. AC says:

    Thanks, people!

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