Monday, 24 April 2017

Are We Asking the Right Questions? (Introduction)

The following provocation does not necessarily represent the views of the views of TheVileArts, let alone Gareth K Vile. They are an attempt to sketch the boundaries of an argument, to question and question and question, until I find the question I want to ask.

It seems far easier to write a manifesto about what criticism ought to do than write criticism that actually does it. I'm pondering the link between my emotional response to a performance - let's take David Leddy's Coriolanus Vanishes and VOID In Situ and the intellectual substance of the review. In theory, the review ought to be an elaboration of the headline or star-rating, an explanation of how the event worked to generate the emotional response.

Star ratings, and catchy descriptions, are sometimes the bane of a critic's life. Well, this critic, at least: having crafted a notice that engages with the work in question, displays my knowledge and argues a clear line, I wake up to see it condensed into a single slogan. And that's my lot: I gave it four stars, who cares why?

Or worse: I gave it three stars and everyone just ignores the review. 

But, slowly, I am trying to draw together some ideas about quality. All that 'Enlightenment' chatter: that's what I am going after. A system that explains why things work...

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