Jump to content
abatt

Critics on Social Media

Recommended Posts

Just looked at A. Macaulay's instagram, and he is also giving a rave to Brandt and Cornejo.

 

Edited by abatt

Share this post


Link to post

He needs to get his facts straight. He said Brandt was promoted to soloist less than a year ago, but she was promoted in August 2015. He's a critic, so yes, I'm nitpicking his facts. Regardless, I agree with what he said about Brandt and especially Cornejo.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, ABT Fan said:

He needs to get his facts straight. He said Brandt was promoted to soloist less than a year ago, but she was promoted in August 2015. He's a critic, so yes, I'm nitpicking his facts. Regardless, I agree with what he said about Brandt and especially Cornejo.

 

He's not only a  critic, he's The New York Times on this subject!  "All the News That's Fit to Print," right? 

 

But the main thing for me is what I infer from your second point:  What makes AM worth paying attention to is not only what he says about what he sees, but, usually, how he says it.  Because he describes it so well, I can see what he sees, and I can follow his thinking through to his judgements, and this makes reading what he says experience useful even when I'm watching ballet he hasn't written about, and even when I disagree with some of his judgements.  A kind of tutorial by an expert on how to watch. 

 

I think he's the best dance critic the Times has ever had, and being in the hands of a broader audience than more specialist publications, even compared to The New Yorker, where he wrote for a time, he's in a position to do a lot of good.  

Share this post


Link to post

Well put, Jack. And even though his Instagram page identifies him as the Times critic, he's not writing for the Times on that page. Anyone can make a mistake.

Share this post


Link to post

The Arts coverage at the Times has gone way downhill, so I'm glad that A. Macaulay at least posts some thoughts on his social media. 

 

The Times now regularly (daily) recaps what the late night comedy shows (Colbert, Trevor Noah and the like) said about Trump.  They also regularly recap what happened on TV shows.  Why?  If I want to see  Colbert's monologue or the last episode of Better Call Saul,  the material is completely self explanatory and readily available on the internet.  I don't need the Times to break it down for me.  Do they think that they will attract more advertisers by filling the paper with this junk?

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, abatt said:

...

Do they think that they will attract more advertisers by filling the paper with this junk?

 

I thought the question here was more like, Do they really think they will attract more of the audience advertisers want by filling in more junk?, but you may be right in condensing the intermediate step. 

 

Another angle may be that media in general improve their bottom line not only by bringing in income, i.e. from advertising, but also by reducing costs, and junk may be cheaper to come by.  (The CBS radio outlet here in Chicago carries a lot of "police blotter" material, which holds our breathless attention and must be very cheap to get, not that it has no utility - none of us want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.) 

 

Back in the day, it looked like The Times was able to inform the nation according to the calculations of the major upscale department stores.  

Edited by Jack Reed

Share this post


Link to post

Panero seems to be complaining because he has to work harder for less money. You and most everyone else, buddy.

Quote

 

The Times now regularly (daily) recaps what the late night comedy shows (Colbert, Trevor Noah and the like) said about Trump.  They also regularly recap what happened on TV shows.  Why?  If I want to see  Colbert's monologue or the last episode of Better Call Saul,  the material is completely self explanatory and readily available on the internet.  I don't need the Times to break it down for me.  Do they think that they will attract more advertisers by filling the paper with this junk?

 

Actually, some of the best writing in the paper, and elsewhere, is about television, which is generally regarded as experiencing a renaissance in serialized drama. The political commentary from late night TV hosts and the plethora of political satire shows in the era of Trump also seems worth noticing.  As already noted in this thread and other fora, what’s killing arts criticism is the lack of clicks. The Times has held out against this trend longer than most.

 

Edited to add: Adding to the foregoing that for me the Times' TV coverage satisfies a utilitarian need - clever knowledgeable people watching shows for me so I don't have to......

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for the link to the Panero article -- I don't see New Criterion on a regular basis and so had missed this.

 

He discusses several issues that have been churning in the critical community for a number of years.  The new paradigm in criticism generally encourages a closer relationship between the critic and the rest of the art community -- the idea of the embedded critic isn't a new one (remembering Dance is a Contact Sport by Joe Mazo) but it's been having a surge recently, and the development of social media make it even more ubiquitous.  This makes issues of critical distance and objectivity even more complex than elsewhere.

 

Another element that he points out is the increase in freelance work -- fewer writers are associated with a specific publication, with a mandate to cover the dance beat over a longer period of time.  Aside from the financial difficulty this poses (and it's as much of a challenge here as it is with most other professions) the lack of staff positions means that these publications aren't committed to covering the art form as an ongoing part of a community.  They might pick up on individual artists or events, but they don't necessarily record the context, and in the end, that makes the criticism less powerful.

 

As a freelancer, I do a great deal on homework in my community, but most of it is on my own -- I'm lucky that most presenters will comp me to performances, but I often spend time talking with artists and going to rehearsals without any assignment for a publication.  I do this so that when I do have a chance to write, I'll have a clue about what I'm seeing, but it's not a simple process.

Share this post


Link to post

Jerry Saltz – Panero's subject – is a pretty unique case. Very messy writer but seems to interested in getting through bull- of the art world, for example the trend of "zombie formalism" (which may have an equivalent in dance):

 

Quote

Galleries everywhere are awash in these brand-name reductivist canvases, all more or less handsome, harmless, supposedly metacritical, and just “new” or “dangerous”-looking enough not to violate anyone’s sense of what “new” or “dangerous” really is, all of it impersonal, mimicking a set of preapproved influences.

 

 ... Replete with self-conscious comments on art, recycling, sustainability, appropriation, processes of abstraction, or nature, all this painting employs a similar vocabulary of smudges, stains, spray paint, flecks, spills, splotches, almost-monochromatic fields, silk-screening, or stenciling. Edge-to-edge, geometric, or biomorphic composition is de rigueur, as are irregular grids, lattice and moiré patterns, ovular shapes, and stripes, with maybe some collage ... 

 

This is supposed to tell us, “See, I know I’m a painting—and I’m not glitzy like something from Takashi Murakami and Jeff Koons.”

 

Anyway he seems to be a more effective muckraker than Panero.

 

http://www.vulture.com/2014/06/why-new-abstract-paintings-look-the-same.html

 

Meanwhile at the Times, following the recent dismissal of the Public Editor, many copy editor jobs are to be eliminated:

 

Quote

On Wednesday, copy editors sent an open letter to Dean Baquet, The Times’s executive editor, and Joe Kahn, the managing editor, challenging the decision to cut staff and eradicate the copy desk, which is responsible for, among other things, catching factual and grammatical errors and ensuring that articles adhere to Times style guidelines.

 

“We have begun the humiliating process of justifying our continued presence at The New York Times,” the letter from the copy desk began.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/29/business/media/new-york-times-staff-members-protest-cuts.html?_r=0

 

The Times' defense ("Baquet Answers Readers' Questions")

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/06/reader-center/dean-baquet-newsroom-changes.html?mcubz=0:

 

Edited by Quiggin

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, Quiggin said:

 the trend of "zombie formalism" (which may have an equivalent in dance):

 

 

 

Can you expand on this?

Share this post


Link to post
10 hours ago, sandik said:

 

Can you expand on this?

 

Sort of an inert formality. All over. Maybe arrower than Wayne McGregor. ... ??? I guess more generally off the shelf minimalism built around a single idea. (I think I'm contracting here.)

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Quiggin said:

 

Sort of an inert formality. All over. Maybe arrower than Wayne McGregor. ... ??? I guess more generally off the shelf minimalism built around a single idea. (I think I'm contracting here.)

 

I guess I haven't seen as much of that as you have -- one of my criticisms of new work that comes my way is that it is often not formal enough, in that it doesn't seem to deal with structure or some other kind of developmental idea.  I see a lot of dance material, some of it quite thrilling, but as a whole, many works seem to lack a developmental spine.

 

I've only see McGregor's work for contemporary companies (except for Chroma, which I saw in an Ailey broadcast).  The longer we go on, though, the less the distinction between work for ballet companies and work for contemporary/modern companies seems to matter.  I'd love to hear more about your perspective, but I don't want to hijack the topic of the thread.  Perhaps we should move this discussion elsewhere?

Edited by sandik
spelling!

Share this post


Link to post

I don't see that much dance here in SF – as opposed to painting – to really comment. Contra-zombie formalism, I've liked Trey McIntyre's Presentce at the Gala this year, Jessica Lang's Schubert Wanderer excerpt at Jacob's Pillow Interactive, and the unpopular here California Dreamin that Paul Taylor did for the last SFB New Works. Also very much so Ratmansky's Scarlatti. They all do develop ideas. Ratmansky, as Carrie Gaiser Casey points out in her SFB podcast, lets minor characters repeat the motifs of major characters as a composer might repeat and develop something in another key. This constantly enrichens the ballet rather than zombie-flattens. (Millepied – at least in video – seems to have flattened Beethoven in his Appassionata ballet, following the music so closely, dance word for music word, that neither the dance nor the music could breathe.)

 

[You can move this somewhere else if others want to comment on the state of: musicality? structure? (good) formality? 

Edited by Quiggin

Share this post


Link to post

 

Quote

Another element that he points out is the increase in freelance work -- fewer writers are associated with a specific publication, with a mandate to cover the dance beat over a longer period of time.  Aside from the financial difficulty this poses (and it's as much of a challenge here as it is with most other professions) the lack of staff positions means that these publications aren't committed to covering the art form as an ongoing part of a community.

 

I agree, and have written about that here on the board. I didn't mean to minimize the bad effects of the disappearance of  staff critics.   I just didn't care for Panero's tone. No, those checks from Conde Nast. are never going to be so fat again.

 

Quote

Meanwhile at the Times, following the recent dismissal of the Public Editor, many copy editor jobs are to be eliminated:

 

Thanks for posting, Quiggin. I don't think the ombudsman spot was ever effectively used at the Times, but it's a real shame about the copy editors. Baquet refers to the need for speed, which seems ever more consuming....

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×