ART&CRITIQUE is a London-based, peer-led alternative art education network dedicated to critical engagement with contemporary art. We employ collaborative, co-operative and collective models of pedagogy and organisation and foster alternative models of art education in a series of public events.
ART&CRITIQUE is open-access, self-organised, self-funded and non-profit. If you’d like to get involved, or if you have an idea for an event or collaboration, please come along to an event or get in touch.
An emergent London based multidisciplinary collective that attempts to question and offer solutions regarding our contemporary context. Their concerns relate to the challenges presented by the Anthropocene, sustainability, disconnection, individualism, Artificial Intelligence, inequalities, among others.
MA Art and Science student at Central Saint Martins (UAL) for 2016-2018. Deputy Head of Foresight in the UK Government Office for Science. Interested in maps, reflections, glass, depth, art-science-politics, socio-economics, climate change, demography, paint and photography.
Richard is a painter. He studied in open access courses at the Chelsea College of Art and at the Art Student League of New York. His practise focuses on portraiture and landscape mainly in oils. One of Richards portraits was selected for exhibition at the NPG BP portrait awards 2016. In the same year he was accepted for a residency at the Vermont Studio Center.
Maria Christoforatou is an artist & visiting lecturer at University of the Arts London. She completed a practice-based MPhil at Chelsea College of Arts & an MA in Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Arts. Her research investigates experiences of displacement through the idea of home & the ways that objects mediate for the artist & become agents of experience for the viewer.
Amanthi is an artist & writer. She studied at Central St Martins & Bristol University. She won the Gatehouse Press New Fictions Prize 2016 for Lantern Evening (2017). Her short stories have been published & broadcast on BBC Radio4. She is part of the V22 Artist Collective & works in 3D & drawing. She runs StoryHug, a project making art & stories in the community.
Laura Hudson is an artist, writer and freelance curator with a background in experimental film, digital technologies and sustainable agriculture. She studied Evironmental Art at Glasgow School of Art & Moving Image at Central St Martins. She worked for Women In Profile, London Filmmakers Co-op, Cinenova Feminist Film Distribution, Arts Council England & FluxIT.
Sophia is an artist, tutor, curator and researcher. She completed a practice-based PhD in Fine Art at Goldsmiths in 2012 and founded ART&CRITIQUE in 2015. She teaches studio practice, critical and contextual studies, history & philosophy of art, curating, video & film production. Research interests include art and politics, art education, radical pedagogy and self-organisation.
Johanna is an artist based in London. She studied anthropology at Goldsmiths & is a co-founder of ArtBrixton. Her work explores self-containment & the struggle against the violence of the mundane in domesticity, relationships & work. She performs in public places with incidental or no human audience & extends her performances through photographs, diagrams & installations.
Dasha Loyko is a practising artist and researcher with a background in philosophy. She works across media, from painting and collage to installation and film. In October 2017 she will begin her studio-based MA in Critical Practice at the Royal College of Art.
Cristina is a curator & art blogger from Mexico. Her research interests are the concepts of infinity, tear & language-games. Her first exhibition as a curator was about an infinite causal chain of words, Transitivity of Implication (2016). She’s an intern at the Museum of Portable Sound as a Curatorial Assistant, she likes to experiment with sound, video & watercolour.
Elliot is a playwright and founding member of Penny Drops Collective, a radical artist / theatre group.
Aris completed a PhD in media & communications at Goldsmiths and has been involved in free and self-organised language programmes for migrants and refugees. He teaches & researches in the field of social theory & media studies from a critical perspective, which means that he is at odds with marketization, careerism & precarious labour conditions in the university.
Ruben is a researcher & currently Diversity Champion at the V&A. He completed an MA in Aesthetics & Cultural Policy at City University (2014) and co-founded the curatorial collective Un-Mapping Futures (2017). His published work explores the intersections between philosophy of art, public participation and the production of discourse on art and its publics.
DOWNLOAD Friedrich Nietzsche (2003/1872). The Birth of Tragedy. Blackmask Online. Chapters 1, 16, 17, 23 and 24 (please note this starts from Chapter 1 after the introduction by Nietzsche titled an ‘Attempt at self criticism’ (1886) further down on the PDF under the title the Birth of tragedy).
The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche’s first book, published in 1872 when he was 28, is both a historical study of the origins of Greek tragedy and a complex and compelling argument for the necessity for art in life.
In the Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche describes two competing impulses in Greek culture – the Apollonian and the Dionysian.
Apollo as the god of the plastic or representational arts of painting and sculpture, is associated with beauty and order.
Dionysus in contrast is the god of the non-representational art of music, and associated with flux, mysticism and excess. Through music man is given a true glimpse into the nature of life, and the dissolution of individual identity in communion with nature.
While the Apollonian artist is associated with light and clarity, the Dionysian offers an insight into the darker side of life, a confrontation with the pain and destruction of existence.
Nietzsche argues that these forces and artistic tendencies which were in conflict were merged in Attic tragedy with the combination of the musical chorus and poetry. He believed the combination of these states produced the highest forms of music and tragic drama, which not only reveal the truth about suffering in life, but also provide a consolation for it.
While this mixture of competing forces was richly realised in Attic tragedy Nietzsche traces how the arrival of Socratic culture which prioritised the purely intellectual and rational led to the destruction of myth and the art of the tragedy.
In the second half of the Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche uses this framework as the basis of a critique of the rationalism of late nineteenth-century German culture.
In its wide-ranging discussion of the nature of art, science and religion, Nietzsche’s argument raises questions about the vitality and nature of culture in a secular, rationalist modern world.
It contains themes that will remain important in Nietzsche’s later work – including the ‘will’ (an ultimate force which determines human life which will become in his later work the ‘will to power’) and, as he sets out in his preface to the second edition, a critique of Christianity and modern science as forms of belief that he argues do not bring man close to the real meaning of life.
It also contains the roots of arguments that have proven to be some of Nietzsche’s most influential. It’s critique of rationalism in western culture links it to modernism; in it’s focus on dreams and the origins underlying latent content it also seems to have links to psychoanalysis; and in his search for the unknown origin behind avowed or accepted ones it also presages the work of post-structuralists such as Derrida, whose own work depends on disputing of accepted interpretations and origins.
The birth of tragedy has become one of Nietzsche’s best known and most influential books and a source of a challenging rich argument for how aesthetic experience relates to the meaning of life and other questions that remain central to the practice of art and criticism today.
What is the Apollonian and Dionysian? Is this opposition the right one?
Are there other forces that need to be considered? and is it relevant in interpreting art today?
How does rationalism and science shape modern culture?
What role can myth play in culture now?
Is aesthetic experience the only truth in a secular world?
Where is the Apollonian and Dionysian in modern culture? Does the Dionysian need revival?
Monthly reading group for artists, researchers and anyone interested in the intersections between art practice and critical theory. Everyone is welcome to propose a text and facilitate the reading group. Please book your place and download the shared document. For more information and an archive of previous events please scroll down.
Free & open access
The reading group is free and open to everyone who wants to join as long as they commit to the reading. Please register and arrive early, doors will close when we reach maximum capacity. Don’t forget to download the shared document and bring a hard-copy to the book club. Please consider donating to help cover our expenses and keep us going.
Discussion & decision-making
Texts are selected by group consensus on the basis that they reflect on the relationship between practice and theory. This includes a broad variety of texts, from philosophy to politics and aesthetics to science fiction – there is no limitation.
Facilitating the book club
[SYMPOSIUM] is a supportive community of peers who discuss and unpack their research interests. All participants have the opportunity to facilitate the book club on a text of their choice. If you would like to propose a text, you can start preparing right now:
 Decide on a text that you want to discuss.
 Do some background research and write a short introduction to provide some context, from your own perspective. When was it written? Why was it written? Who wrote it? Was it a response to something else? Why are you interested in the text? How does it relate to, or inform, your practice or your research?
 Pace the reading. How long is the text? If it is short, can we discuss the entire text in a 2-hour book club? If the text is long you may need to divide it up between two or more sessions.
 Write down some questions that you would like to bring to the discussion. Suggest some further reading and an image or two, with captions.
 Download the infosheet and send us your proposal.