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Series

Criticism Now

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at The Wheeler Centre

Criticism in the Digital Age

A passionate panel of international and local arts critics will debate the nature – and future – of arts criticism, right now.

While we find new ways to respond to the art around us, what’s happening to formal criticism? As the digital world sees traditional publications dwindle, and self-published opinions proliferate, arts criticism finds itself in a precarious position. The new landscape might be more democratic, but what does it mean for criticism as a profession? Has the critic become an endangered species?

Moderator Katrina Sedgwick will lead the discussion with guests Alice Rawsthorn (UK), Yun-Cheol Kim (Korea), Deborah Jones, Jane Howard and Dylan Rainforth.

Criticism Now

Between the rise of new media and the shrinking of the old, arts criticism finds itself at a crossroad – what does the future hold for critical discourse on the arts?

The landscape for arts criticism is changing fast. While blogs and online forums have opened the conversation to everyone, professional critics fiercely guard their status as informed arbiters of art. What is the role of the expert voice in the digital age? Is there still room for the beautifully crafted review?

The Wheeler Centre and Melbourne Festival get the discussion started with a fascinating series of events involving some of our nation’s finest writers, its renowned critics and you – the most important critics of all. Together we tackle the vexed state of contemporary criticism. Join us.

The venue for this event has changed: it will now be held at the Wheeler Centre, free of charge. Bookings are recommended.

Who?

Portrait of Jane Howard

Jane Howard

Jane Howard is a contributing editor at Kill Your Darlings, and a freelance arts journalist, critic and researcher with a focus on performance. Her work has appeared in publications including ABC Arts Online, RealTimeMeanjin and Junkee, and her experimental criticism projects have been supported by organisations including the Lifted Brow and the Performance and Art Development Agency.

Portrait of Alice Rawsthorn

Alice Rawsthorn

Alice Rawsthorn is an internationally renowned design critic, whose columns for the International New York Times are syndicated worldwide.

Portrait of Yun-Cheol Kim

Yun-Cheol Kim

Dr Yun-Cheol Kim is a professor at School of Drama, Korean National University of the Arts. He is president of the International Association of Theatre Critics.

Portrait of Deborah Jones

Deborah Jones

Deborah Jones retired from the Australian newspaper last year after 25 years as a writer, critic and editor working primarily in the arts. She was also executive editor for five years.

Portrait of Dylan Rainforth

Dylan Rainforth

Dylan Rainforth is the editor of Art Guide Australia. He also writes a weekly visual art column for the Age newspaper and contributes to a range of Australian art magazines and journals.

Portrait of Katrina Sedgwick

Katrina Sedgwick

Katrina has been Director & CEO of ACMI since 2015. She has a particular interest in supporting cross-disciplinary practice and an extensive background as a commissioner, creative producer and festival director. Her previous roles include Head of Arts for the national broadcaster ABC TV as well as founding Director/CEO of Adelaide Film Festival. The Festival’s $1 million AUD AFF Investment Fund was recognised with a week-long celebration at MoMA in 2011. She is on a number of arts and advisory boards, and in 2020 was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to performing arts, screen industries and visual arts administration.

Criticism Now

Between the rise of new media and the shrinking of the old, arts criticism is evolving fast.

While blogs and online forums have opened the conversation to anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection, professional critics fiercely guard their status as informed arbiters of art. What’s the difference between opinion and criticism? Does it really matter?

The Wheeler Centre and Melbourne Festival are bringing criticism off the page (and screen) and onto the stage, with a dynamic events series that brings together some of Australia’s finest creative writers, a cast of international critics — and you.

Join us for a morning series of ‘live criticism’ cafe events on selected Melbourne Festival shows, and an expert panel on the future of criticism itself.

We’ve enlisted some of Australia’s most creative writers – Malcolm Knox, Amanda Lohrey, Melissa Lucashenko, Chloe Hooper and Shane Maloney – to craft personal responses to the Festival’s shows for our website, for people to discuss. Delve.

Supported by ABC Arts.

Where?

More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.

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