Critical reflections # 2 | Agustín Perez Rúbio answers Marta Mestre

Seeking to stimulate a reflexion about the exhibition space and bring the audience a more qualified and reasoned discussion, three art critics – experts in Brazilian contemporary art, were invited to write about the PIPA 2012 finalists’ exhibition – with works by Marcius GalanMatheus Rocha PittaRodrigo Braga and Thiago Rocha Pitta.

The critics invited to this edition are Marta Mestre, Santiago Garcia Navarro and Cezar Bartholomeu. They will release their texts in November.

Marta Mestre, Portuguese curator and art critic who is currently assistent curator at the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro has a proposition that goes beyond the text.
Her proposal goes through understand how and how criticism can be “performanced.”
It is a open place to think of PIPA exhibition spaces, particularly the critical potential of its regular “lounge area”.
With the collaboration of artist and educator Virginia Mota, ‘Critical Lounge Area’  offers the exhibition visitors simple structures and procedures that allow something that might differ from the ordinary speeches and activities.

Besides this work at the “lounge area” she sent questions to other critics for critical reflexions.

We are going to publish every Friday the answers she received.

We started last week with Luiz Camillo Osorio, critic, curator of Rio de Janeiro Museum of Modern Art and member of PIPA Board.

Click here to read Luiz Camillo Osorio’s  answers.

Today we are publishing the answers given by Agústin Perez Rúbio. He is a historian and art critic, curator e consultant for international art collections, and is Director of MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (León, Spain) since October, 2009.

( The answers are showed below in two versions – an English free translation and below the original answers in Spanish).

Marta Mestre  – Is it possible to make a criticism within the institution?

Agustín Perez Rúbio – Of course it is possible. Many museum directors, curators and staff of an institution have been working on a chain of criticism and thought within the institution. I would even go further and put you where this critical cases would refer not only to a marked line of thinking about art, until a self-criticism regarding the powers that support the institution itself, whether political, commercial or social, and this is called “Institutional Critic” if it refers to artists working with this focus on the institution, but many of us besides being critical in our own contexts, even to the point of reaching the resignation of an executive position in a museum, is a position that goes beyond art, but also of their own personal ethics and what it means to be a professional critic authorized for this.

Por supuesto que es posible. Muchos directores de museos, curators y personal de una institución han podido labrar una corriente critica y de pensamiento dentro de la institución. Incluso iría más lejos y te pondría casos donde esta critica no solo se referiría a una marcada linea de pensamiento respecto al arte, sino hasta una propia critica o autocritica respecto a los poderes que sustentan la propia institución, ya sean políticos, mercantiles o sociales, a ello se llamó “Institutional Critic” si se refiere a artistas que trabajan con este punto de mira sobre la institución, pero también muchos de nosotros a parte de ser criticos en nuestros propios contextos, incluso hasta el punto de llegar a dimitir de un puesto directivo en un museo, está una postura que va mas allá de arte, sino también de la propia ética personal y de lo que supone ser un profesional critico autorizado para ello.

Marta Mestre –  May the field for the exercise of criticism be beyond the essay, the book, the specialized magazines, or certain space of press?

Agustín Perez Rúbio – That’s not true. Criticism can be developed from the exhibitions, conferences, debates, and of course, on magazines, articles and essays, but also immersed in every election there is a critical line. I give you an example: If you get to make a choice for an artist for a contest, grant, award, in that choice there is a judgment and an implicit critique, there is a look, a quality criterion, of thought and aesthetic; but for but for example if in a situation like this, you refuse to make a choice of an artist, or choose one of a group, in that denial, in that no action there is also a criterion, a value judgment and practice of critical discourse.

Eso no es cierto. La critica puede ser desarrollada a partir de las exposiciones, de las conferencias, de los debates, por supuesto que en revistas, textos y ensayos, pero hasta en toda elección hay inmersa una linea critica. Te pondré un ejemplo: Si te toca hacer una elección de una artista para un concurso, beca, o premio, en ese elección hay un juicio y una critica implícita, existe una mirada, un criterio de calidad, de pensamiento y estética; pero por ejemplo si en una situación asi, te niegas a hacer una elección de un artista, o a escoger a uno de un grupo, en esa negación, en esa no acción, existe tambien un criterio, un juicio de valor y una practica del discurso critico.

Marta Mestre – How the awards are part of the critical exercise in the arts?

Agustín Perez Rúbio – It is a way to exercise a value judgment to present. A prize, if nominated by professionals, and if given by people in the circuit, is a way to meet different trends of artistic practice today. The judgment is in itself an exercise of discretion, of validity and quality. Sometimes though, many of these factors are somewhat subjective regarding different looks and critical positions that each of us have.

Es una manera de ejercer un juicio de valor respecto al  momento actual. Un premio, si es nominado por profesionales de medio, y si es dado por personas del sector, es una manera de conocer las diferentes corrientes de la practica artística actualidad. El juicio es en si mismo un ejercicio del criterio, de la validez, y de la calidad. Aunque a veces, muchos de estos factores sean un tanto subjetivos respecto a las diversas miradas y posiciones criticas que cada uno de nosotros tenemos.

Next week you read the answers by Rita Natálio, Portuguese critic, who works with performing arts, theater, art projects and research.

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