Crit team / exhibition supporter's group
Crit Team / Exhibition Supporters Groupwas a guided walking tour of an outdoor ephemeral sculpture exhibition entitled Arte Magra: from the opaque.
The tour reflected on two distinct social forms: the spectatorship of sporting contests and the group critique session that is common in art education. Both these processes of looking involve both viewing and speaking, and produce meaning through shared perception and critical dialogue. These kinds of ʻcollective lookingʼ involve significant labour and are acts of community support and encouragement. These forms work to establish what is present and respond to what is present: the development of a perspective as a form of work. In this sense, this shared looking is connected to commentary, documentary, and history. Fans and teammates support their club through the watching of games and the vocalising of opinions, and the art school critique is seen as an important step in an artistʼs development as they receive critical responses from an audience of peers. Participants took a close look, kicked balls, sung chants, kept score and provided running commentary to the artworks and performances on display.
Sports have traditionally been positioned as having the potential to create a sense of agency and shared purpose, but also encouraged complicity in existing systems of inequality. As communication itself is increasingly colonised under a paradigm of cognitive capitalism, how can we find a space within which we can come together and truly exercise our own criticality and subjectivity? Can looking at this history of sports - alongside the critical project of contemporary art - help us to envision an expanded, more fantastical notion of what critique actually is, or could be?
Arte Magra: from the opaque was organised by the Australian Experimental Art Foundation, curated by Dr Mary Knights and Domenico de Clario. The work consisted of three walking tours over the course of the exhibition, and participants were solicited via an open call on the galleryʼs website.