Is Australian Arts Criticism Failing?

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16th August 2010, 01:43pm - Views: 716
Is Australian Arts Criticism Failing?

As column inches shrink and bloggers and citizen reviewers abound, the Wheeler Centre asks key players in books, film, theatre and visual arts to turn the critical eye on criticism.

Critical Failure
Monday 6 to Thursday 9 September 2010, 6:15PM - 7:30PM
The Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Arts criticism is about more than just a personal reflection on the work. Beyond the impact that a glowing or scathing review can have on the fortunes of a book, film, play or exhibition, good criticism is a crucial ingredient in building and developing the entire cultural scene. So what happens when critical culture is in disrepair? Does the web offer a new, more democratic critical environment? Who are our cultural gatekeepers? What role should reviewers play? What are the effects of celebrity culture on serious criticism? This thought-provoking week will be chaired by broadcaster Peter Mares.

Film Monday 6 September
Adrian Martin is a film critic, writer and academic.
Fenella Kernebone currently hosts ABC TV's Art Nation.
Mel Campbell is a journalist, blogger and creator of The Enthusiast.

Books Tuesday 7 September
Hilary McPhee is an editor and writer. She also founded the iconic Australian press McPhee Gribble.
Gideon Haigh is a journalist and critic. He has written or edited over 20 books.
Peter Craven is one of Australia's best known literary critics.
Rebecca Starford is editor of Kill Your Darlings and an associate publisher at Affirm Press.

Theatre Wednesday 8 September
Julian Meyrick is a director, theatre historian and deputy chair of PlayWriting Australia.
Alison Croggon is the Australian's theatre critic, a blogger and poet.
Stephen Sewell is an award-winning playwright
Cameron Woodhead is a senior theatre critic for the Age.

Visual Arts Thursday 9 September
Patrick McCaughey is best known in Australia as the highly visible and dynamic former Director of the National Gallery of Victoria.
John McDonald is the arts critic for the Sydney Morning Herald.
Naomi Cass is the director of the Centre for Contemporary Photography

Peter Mares has been a journalist and broadcaster with the ABC since 1987. He is currently the presenter of The National Interest on ABC Radio National.

All events will be chaired by Peter Mares, start at 6.15 pm and are free. Bookings are recommended through

For media enquiries contact
Anna Lensky
03 9094 7806
0425 766 780
[email protected]

SOURCE: The Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas

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