[artinfo] Symposium: Canvases and Careers Today

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Mon Dec 10 09:55:15 CET 2007

Symposium: Canvases and Careers Today

Saturday, 15 December, 3p.m. Aula, Städelschule
Sunday, 16 December, 2 p.m. Theater of Immanence, Portikus

This conference takes up the propositions of 
Harrison and Cynthia White's seminal study, 
"Canvases and Careers" (1965). It deliberately 
avoids the usual pessimistic accounts that 
deplore criticism's supposed powerlessness. 
Instead of mourning its obsolescence thereby 
adopting the perspective of a history of decay, 
we propose a different take on the situation. We 
want to assess the changes resulting from the 
current "market-imperialism" (Ulrich Bröckling) 
as structural and functional changes. As much as 
new competence profiles have emerged, criticism's 
function seems to be renegotiated as well. It is 
the premise of this conference that criticism is 
faced with new constraints AND new spaces of 

While it is certainly true that criticism has 
very little impact on the secondary market, it 
nevertheless represents a commodity that is 
highly in demand in other spheres since an 
economy based on knowledge production desperately 
wants to incorporate it.

Harrison and Cynthia White famously coined the 
term "dealer-critic-system". According to them, 
it replaced the academic system in late 19th 
century due to the special needs of the 
impressionist movement. We want to ask if it is 
still a "dealer-critic-system" that makes an 
artist's career? Wouldn't it be more precise to 
speak of a "dealer-collector-system"? There can 
be no doubt that we are currently faced with a 
high degree of mobility between the commercial 
and the institutional spheres. Presently clearly 
circumscribed competence profiles have become 
fluid. New types of critic-curators, 
collector-dealers or artist-gallerist-critics 
emerge everywhere. Is this a sign of an 
emancipatory end of a formerly rigid division of 
labor? Or does this enlargement of competence 
simply correspond to the postfordist call for 
flexibility and mobility?
Saturday 15 December

Aula, Staatliche Hochschule fuer Bildende Kuenste 
-- Staedelschule, Duererstr. 10, 60596 Frankfurt 
am Main, Germany

3.p.m. Welcome: Daniel Birnbaum
Introduction: Isabelle Graw: Long live criticism!

3.20 p.m. George Baker: Late Criticism
3.40 p.m. Response: André Rottmann
Followed by discussion

4:30 p.m. Johanna Burton: More Than This
4:50 p.m. Response: Julia Voss
Followed by discussion

5:30 p.m. John Kelsey: The Hack
6:00 p.m. Response: Merlin Carpenter

Sunday 16th December

Theater of Immanence, Portikus, Alte Brücke 2,
60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

2:00 p.m. Resumé Daniel Birnbaum/Isabelle Graw

2:10 p.m. Branden Joseph: Later than Late
2:30 p.m. Response: Tom Holert
Followed by discussion

3:00 p.m. Melanie Gilligan: The Contemporary Social Market.
3:30 p.m. Response: Isabelle Graw
Followed by discussion

4-4:30 p.m. END

Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste - Städelschule
Dürerstr. 10
60596 Frankfurt am Main
tel.: +49 69 60 50 08 -0
fax.: +49 69 60 50 08 -66

Alte Brücke 2 / Maininsel
60594 Frankfurt/Main
tel: +49 69 962 4454-0
fax: +49 69 962 4454-24

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