Report: Architectural Criticism, its Audience(s) and its Actors

Architectural Criticism, its Audience(s) and its Actors, held in Rennes at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme en Bretagne on June 13, was the first in a series of workshops organized by the Mapping Architecture Criticism project.

Three scholars were invited to bring their latest researches in order to discuss and to look at the figure of the critic, scrutinizing his profile, role and status under very distinct conceptual and disciplinary points of view. Valery Didelon spoke on the “High Criticism and Low Criticism / Critique élitaire et critique populaire”, exploring the open tension between non-professional and professional criticism in the 1980s’ French public debate. Antje Kramer-Mallordy presented the intricate profile of the art critic within the frame of the AICA geopolitical action in “Shaping Cultural Values: the Critic within the Framework of International Relations after 1945“. In “Shifting Scales. The Position of the Critic in the Biennale Culture”, Rute Figueiredo inquired on the impact of the phenomenon of biennialization on the changing identity of the architecture critic over the last few decades.

The purpose was to exchange ideas and to reflect on the complex positions of the critic along with such related matters as public debate, institutional framework, geopolitical interaction, disciplinary settings and systems of communication. Together, these lectures proposed specific readings about the identity of the critic, opening, at the same time, a variety of other new questions that ask to be explored in the following debates.

You can download the full program of the event here

Image caption
Arquitectura n. 41, March 1952, cover page (cartoon by João Abel Manta)