art news & reviews & Interviews. jeff bergman, editor

123 – Collage Criticism

Today’s Atlas is a collage of text.  I have attached quotes I find interesting.  The impetus for this was an article by Steve Cottingham shared with me by an Atlas reader that I have never met.  I find a certain poetry in that.

Cottingham writes: What does art criticism look like if written by contemporary poets? What does art criticism look like if it isn’t “written” at all? … What does art criticism look like as a guerrilla activity unfettered by a dying print industry or unrestricted by pervasive neoliberal motivators?

All text here I have encountered for the first time since reading the article by Steve Cottingham in April.  At some point I will expand the parameters, but it seemed like a reasonable constraint.

This is not a review.  Or rather, this is a possible review of something I am not reviewing.  Please add to it, share it, cross it all out and start fresh and share it back to me.  If you find a way to make any good use of this, please let me know

Collage Criticism 

Sometimes I think knowing the names of everything is overrated. (Nicholson Baker;The Anthologist) In her world, each of these activities gives its images and its movements to the others—whatever an image is. (Etel Adnan by Lisa Robertson; BOMB Mag)

This is one of the dividing lines in art that few dare to address. Does art need to cost a lot of money to make? Does it need to be big? Aren’t works that fit these criteria ultimately elitist paeans to capitalism? (John Yau on Bruce Conner) Most of the critics I have read have agreed on the major points. If I were still teaching, would be great to discuss w students. (Alexandra Lange; Twitter)

“Yes, irrelevant to the little subculture, this microculture, of modern art. But here’s the point: My art is relevant because it’s relevant to ten million people.”  (Susan Orlean, Art for Everybody, quoting Thomas Kincade)  Art critics laud artwork that resists capitalist pressures, but rarely does the criticism equally embody the form of this resistance. (Steven Cottingham; Temporary Art Review) They’d find an underground office with a small library of dusty horticultural books.  (Vivian Yee The Rise and Fall of the Cherry King; The New York Times)

This anecdote may prompt your own extended consideration of whether the female mermaids’ penises are, in fact, erect.  (Jen Graves on Ann Leda Shapiro)

“Can you think about forms of criticism that are more image-based, without collapsing into a pure uncritical fascination with the image?” (Ben Davis in advance of his Keynote at Superscript)


Next, I hope to take Cottingham at his word, and make a call for poetry as criticism.


– Jeff Bergman May 2015

4 Responses to “123 – Collage Criticism”

  1. 132 – Little Room | ATLAS

    […]  I hope to honor that name and write more and better.  Please expect more interviews, more collage criticism, more narrative reviews and a spotlight on exhibitions that are not as widely discussed. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: