Semester: Winter semester 2018/19
Direction: Sina-Marie Schneller, Jascha Sommer
Art raises problems. Problems that need exchange and discourse. Artistic practice, if it does not want to be decorative or serve solely to increase economic value, is therefore already an invitation to approach problems of an aesthetic and sometimes ethical nature with a critical, differentiated gesture. The artistic position is thus always somewhat off to the side in order to look at the field it is working on, differentiating and problematising. It is criticism itself.
Criticism, however, is commonly understood in a different way: Criticism usually means the judgement of theatre critics about the production of a work. Or the practice of feedback among fellow students and teachers at an art academy or a course of study in the scenic arts. This workshop was dedicated to this form of criticism or “feedback”. It asked what it takes to mirror one’s own aesthetic experience and to critique it in a productive way.
Feedback is a gift. To criticise responsibly usually means first of all to look closely, to take what is seen seriously and to try to describe one’s own impression and associations from this position. Neither do I have to distinguish myself with my criticism, nor do I have to take over or dilute the statement of my counterpart with well-intentioned (but not consistently thought-out) advice. It is much more a matter of accepting what is seen in its difference to me and considering this difference in my critique. In an intensive laboratory, the workshop was about jointly testing feedback formats based on the presentation of artistic work (10-20 minutes) and jointly developing formats of productive criticism. The first step was to learn to watch and describe beyond subjective judgements. What did I see? What aspects came up? What constellation were they in? What worked? From which perspective do I formulate my criticism? We create (self-)discipline in favour of precision and clarity, try to think and learn together. Above all, we practice an attitude of solidarity, positivity and constructiveness.