2015: The Year in Review
This year, we wondered out loud and online: How can we examine privilege in and through art from feminist, class, queer and black perspectives? How do we reimagine art criticism or repurpose critique to include new propositions? What forms are appropriate to our time – as artists, as organizations, as publications? What is an art publication’s place within social eruptions, ecological crises, state violence, technological speculations and day to day life?
We aim for Temporary Art Review to be not only a gathering place for these questions, but an attempt to answer them through thoughtful features, commissioned texts, and the collective research of our contributors. Each year, the questions change, the propositions change, and the publication changes with them.
During our fourth year of publishing we have been excited to develop the evolution of our platform through the establishment of a new fund for paying writers and extended topical features. Thanks to sponsorships from other artist-centric organizations and a partial grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (through our publisher The Luminary), we now have a dedicated fund for paying writers and guest editors. While we share this funding outward, allowing each contributor to choose from a flexible payment model of ad shares or stipends, it has also supported the development of topical features that engage the most pressing social concerns in the arts. Most significantly this year was our multi-month feature on “Art and Privilege” which used the theory of intersectionality (the idea that various and discrete forms of oppression are interrelated) as a starting point to examine privilege (both in and through art) from feminist, class, queer and black perspectives – accomplished with partners such as The Artist as Debtor and ARTS.BLACK. Selected essays include: Muse as Critic, Returning the Gaze from the Pedestal by Kareem Reid, Sweetness In a Bitter-Leaf by Rianna Jade Parker, and Belaboring the Fringe: in lieu of an Artist Statement by Gelare Khoshgozaran.
As editors of Temporary Art Review, we have also been busy not only on but offline. This year began with Sarrita Hunn’s presentation of our 2014 feature on “Art and Education” for the College Art Association Annual Conference 2015 and James McAnally’s participation in Superscript (organized by Walker Art Center, Minneapolis) followed by a response essay, “Sustainability is not Solidarity: Superscript & the Economies of Art Writing.”
Temporary Art Review was represented at both Open Engagement 2015 and Hand-in-Glove 2015 alongside lengthy ‘social responses’ offering accounts of the convenings from multiple perspectives: Open Engagement: A Social Response and Hand-in-Glove 2015: A Social Response.
In May, we were hosted at partner space Plug Projects for workshop “Imaging ‘Alternative’ Art Criticism,” which aimed to move beyond art writing’s field of possibility to concretely explore ‘alternative’ art criticism in its varied forms. We examined many different structural examples, from creative writing to activism, in order to consider ways we may expand the possibility of What? How? and Where? – to ‘write’ about art. We have also continued our regular evaluation of ‘art criticism’ online with essays such as: To Move into Position: A Politics of Critical Engagement by James McAnally, No one cares about art criticism: Advocating for an embodiment of the avant garde as an alternative to capitalism by Steven Cottingham, and through an online roundtable with MOMUS and artnet.news.
In 2016, we look forward to a very important hallmark – our 5th anniversary of publishing on artist-run and off-centered activity. Alongside our continued emphasis on circulation, commoning, collectivity, decentered conversation(s), alternative spaces (including schools and other forms), we aim to make visible the vision of the publication to make a public. We will be using this moment as a chance to conceive an expansive sense of our activities and the publics we interact with and help shape. This will take form starting in March when we will present an exhibition at The Luminary marking our first five years followed later in 2016 with a full length book expanding on our archives and continual evolution.
To all those who have contributed writing, read a feature, become a sponsor, recommended the site, or contended with us in this expanded inquiry, thank you. We invite you to follow along for an even more interesting 2016.
-Sarrita Hunn and James McAnally, editors