After Criticism: New Responses to Art and Performance
July 2004, Wiley-Blackwell
Issues addressed include the 'performing' of art's histories; the consequences for criticism of embracing boredom, distraction and other 'queer' forms of (in)attention; and the importance of exploring writerly process in responding to aesthetic experience. Bringing together newly commissioned work from the fields of art history, performance studies, and visual culture with the writings of contemporary artists, After Criticism provides a set of experimental essays which demonstrate how 'the critical' might live on as a vital and efficacious force within contemporary culture.
Notes on Contributors.
Introduction: Gavin Butt.
Part I: Performing Art's Histories.
Part II: Distracted and Bored: the critic looks elsewhere.
Part III: Critical Response/Performative Process.
- Addresses the changing nature of art production, interpretation, and spectatorship in contemporary art.
- Focuses on key developments that have taken place in the past decade in the work of selected art historians, writers on visual culture, artists, and art critics.
- Presents a provocative set of responses to what is most vibrant and challenging about today’s art scene.
"After Criticism is no doubt the most intriguing collection of performative writing published yet. Being refreshing, entertaining as well as inspiringly confusing, it is essential reading for anyone writing on art who does not only think of what to write, but also how to write it." Contemporary
"Though it seems contradictory to write words of praise for a book that deeply interrogates the marketability of praiseful language (in the guise of art criticism), Gavin Butt's collection deserves them. Framed by Butt's astute introduction, these performative essays pulse with vitality. Food for thought, this book makes us think, again, about art and its interpretations in a new way. Critical writing as a kind of performance – delicious." Amelia Jones, University of Manchester
"This anthology is an excellent overview of performative critical discourse edited and introduced by one of its leading proponents. All the contributions have an experimental or improvisational edge that preserves a sense of the critical encounter. The book is at the cutting edge of art theory and will be read with enthusiasm by a large number of people engaged with contemporary art practice and criticism." Margaret Iversen, University of Essex