Home Arts Art criticism doesn’t have to be theoretical

Art criticism doesn’t have to be theoretical

by Lorenza Mezzapelle October 15, 2019
Art criticism doesn’t have to be theoretical

Ground Work offers students a unique platform to showcase their work

The launch of the first edition of Ground Work, an art criticism journal published by the Fine Arts Reading Room (FARR), was celebrated last week.

Artists and writers alike were encouraged to write about art that they encountered on and around Concordia, whether it be at the VAV Gallery, during a studio class, or anywhere else on campus.

“At Concordia, there isn’t a journal dedicated to art criticism within the fine arts community,” said Le Lin, who works at the FARR, noting that the form of art criticism that takes place within the faculty is more theoretical, aimed towards Art History students.

“When you interact with different spaces within Concordia-during critiques, at FOFA, Leonard and Bina-you sometimes have a lot to say,” said Lin, adding that Ground Work aims to offer a place for fine arts students to express themselves through writing. “[We wanted] Ground Work as something to offer everyone, and not just Art History students.”

Five versions of Ground Work are available, described as “collectibles” by Lin. Designed by Van Le, another employee of the FARR, the graphic concept originated from a cracked phone screen. A vibrant red arcade font and black fine line detailing adds an interesting and unexpected pop against the off-white paper, which folds out into a poster.

Each of the five printouts features a single text, ranging from works exploring contemporary art within urban landscapes, to review-type features about art exhibited within the school’s galleries.

Eva Morrison’s “Desire Lines” delves into user experience, in regards to the large “C” sculpture outside Concordia’s Sir George Williams Campus. Hea R. Kim’s “The Inner Presence of Absence: Dominique Sirois’ Sous Verre, Sous Terre III, IV, V” is an article about multimedia artist Dominique Sirois’ works, featured at Galerie Laroche/Joncas in downtown Montreal.

The texts, which are at once academic and personal alongside the DIY-approach assembly of the journal, convey expression and theory in a way that does not feel like an essay.

Despite offering publication grants to students, Ground Work is the first publication by the FARR. “I do see more programming [for the FARR] being done in the future,” said Lin. “We definitely see [Ground Work] being continued… or another FARR publication, maybe.”

The FARR is a student-run library-meets-resource centre, located on the second floor of Concordia’s EV building, offering resources, and publication and residency grants to students and clubs.

“A lot of resources come to us, so that we relay the information out,” said Lin, adding that the FARR’s catalogue is currently expanding to fill gaps of what is missing in the Webster library, and noting that they currently have a wide selection of new resources available from their trip to NY Art Book Fair.

All students interested in submitting work can expect to hear callouts for the next issue during the Winter semester.

Copies of Ground Work can be found at The Fine Arts Reading Room, at EV 2.785. The FARR is open Mon to Thur, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Fri from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Photo by Cecilia Piga.

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