Lost in looking



“There was a time when the critic felt obliged to explain why video and photography might be art, what an installation is, to unpack Duchamp’s importance and to remind readers who Joseph Beuys was. This no longer feels so necessary. The incomprehensible and the indefensible can look after themselves. What we really want to know is who went to the opening, how much money the artist got for the show, and which architect did their house for them. But describing what something looks or felt like, running with the thoughts it provokes, asking why it may or may not be worth looking at, still feels worthwhile, and more interesting than telling you that Damien [Hirst] has said he’d like to hit me, that there were years when Tracey [Enim] didn’t speak to me, and that a stuckist wrote in recently, telling me why I’d got art all wrong, that I hang out with the wrong crowd, but that my heart might be in the right place (this last bit is worrying). Art provokes and deserves something more than silence. Only mediocrity deserves the silent treatment, the critical cold shoulder.” - art critic Adrian Searle