Critical Practice Amsterdam
Het Veem Theater is combining two LLB activies, Performance Situation Room and Critical Practice, and is inviting four international emerging critics, theoreticians, cultural analysts interested in performing arts, thinkers or writers to closely follow, engage with, reflect on and write on/about the three days conference BER-AMS-BXL.
The participants are: Angelina Georgieva (BG), Marialena Maoruda (GR/DE), Cecilia Vallejos (AR/NL) and Tom Engels (BE).The theoretician Konstantina Georgelou (GR) guides them, and their contributions are published online and offline.
Critical writing in reacting to the conference BER-AMS-BXL
In framework of the Critical Practice, we called out to young critics in Europe, and selected from the applications a divers team of critical writers that took part in the conference BER-AMS-BXL. During the conference, that took place 5-7 September 2013, Het Veem Theater hosted four international emerging critics, theoreticians and cultural analysts with different backgrounds and visions as part of the conference. The participants were Angelina Georgieva (BG/MA), Marialena Marouda (GR/DE), Tom Engels (BE) and Cecilia Vallejos (AR/NL). They have been invited to engage with, reflect on and write about this three-day conference. The theoretician Konstantina Georgelou (GR) guided them. Their contributions were published during the conference both online and offline, reaching out in the curious and necessary attempt to catch in writing the just formed thoughts and connections that emerged from the conference participants and kept on filling the space during the three days.
The group fully engaged with the overload of information giving in the three days, taking their task seriously, debating together, writing in the breaks, sharing their thoughts on paper already during the conference. Value of having this practice as part of a artistic event is making visible the critic as essential part of the field, giving attention for and opening up discussion around it’s role and function, and creating a flow of thinking while doing, and doing while thinking.
Especially this last exercise is not evident. The lack of time, and the immediacy of writing and reflecting in the moment and on the spot was difficult for them to deal with and lead to the question; what is the space/time/distance a critic need to write a thought trough reflection?
Konstantina Georgelou: “I would like to point out the significance of a ‘critical practice’ in this context, which goes in line with my proposition for a more involved participation of cultural theorists and critics in such events. (…) This practice can help gathering, exposing and probing the ‘knowledge’ that emerges in conferences that experiment at the borders of theory and practice, which is also to say that it can produce knowledge in its own right by posing questions and articulating suggestions about what seems to be urgent and how to go about it.”
Tom Engels: “… there was constantly the feeling of ‘running out of time’, paradoxically reproducing the dynamics that were critiqued during the conference by several speakers. This lack of time didn’t allow us to enter in a feedback mode, both with the other participants and the visitors of the conference.”
Cecilia Vallejos: “(…) I come to think that the role critic needs to assume in today's art production and practices is to be more of an agent for a breeding ground than an instrument to legitimatize its end results. Enabling critics to appropriate such a pivotal function for a while could cooperate effectively in overcome the shortage of discourse that most of the times the art field appears to have. As a matter of fact the idea of utilizing discursive practices more compromised,(…) is closely related to tackle the symptoms produced by the actual moment.. As stated in one of the pages of the conference reader:: This crisis (of the credibility of art in the public domain) might also be a chance.”