Reading Perri’s comment, I thought how I have seen exploratory critical work in gallery contexts but it has often been based on writing as live event of some kind, where the writer is acceptable by becoming a performer. Of course this can be an exchange/ addition/ translation worth making, but it can also be an avoidance of critical writing, and a disappearance of writings own histories and methods into those of performance/ live art.
There is a lack of context, I agree, for exploratory written work, or rather the contexts that I have found for myself have been magazines and journals at greater removal from the art scene. Which makes me feel sometimes that the trajectory of unfolding a writing practice, necessarily looking for what sustains and supports it, by necessity moves further away from the writing about art/ artists that was its initial impulse.
That’s why, BeckyH, I like the sound of your project, its suggestion that this discussion is actually about re-thinking relational models, implied and enacted hierarchies, distinct zones of practice, and trying to find a workable community model for relating it all together.
It recognises that this debate is at an early stage, and that basic definitions and assumptions need to be worked out. It tries to move writer and art back into meaningful relation with one another as observers/makers/ responders within some kind of shared and mutually created scene.
I have been thinking, Perri, about your idea of writer led exhibition processes. My first response: first form a A Writer-Centric Autonomous Zone, that doesn’t view writing within frameworks and lexicons of contemporary art; then consider how that might fit (obstinate and cantankerous perhaps) into processes of exhibition making.
As with BeckyH’s project, a conversation would hopefully unfold that negotiates from a starting point of writings autonomous and various strangeness.