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KUNST.EE SPRING ISSUE STILL ON SALE: "The fact that the artist is a beggar who essentially pays the state for art – for the opportunity to make art – was articulated very clearly in Estonia in the noughties by female artists in particular." – Eha Komissarov: "The noughties are a very difficult theme to brand.(KUNST.EE 2/2021)


Petri dish of art criticism

Liisa Kaljula (3-4/2010)

Based on the Artishok biennale, where each art project was pre-viewed via ten critical texts, Liisa Kaljula offers an essay on the state of art criticism.
By the end of the first decade of the 21stcentury the 1990’s boom of new media, free journalism and art criticism in Estonia has almost been replaced by a vacuum in terms of public writings on art. Is the Artishok biennale, which in itself represents the only moment in Estonian art life in this decade where it is possible to speak of the pluralism of genres of art criticism, trying to keep alive a dying genre or predicting a new rise for art criticism? Even though this year's Artishok biennale did not present Marxist, feminist, Freudian, purely formalist, thoroughly semiotic, fully psychological, biographical, completely instrumental, consumerist nor any of the many other types of art criticism (instead bursting mainly with hybrid forms and intuitive approaches), it still hinted at various possibilities, strategies and methodologies for criticism. In addition, it alluded to the fact that a critical discourse is one of the signs of an open society and one of the functions of a self-reflecting culture. But it is also true that independent art criticism is a great luxury for which we might not have the resources. In that case the Artishok biennale will remain a Petri dish for art criticism, where we keep, examine and develop this endangered species.
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