When Language Confronts
Art: A View from the
Receiving End

Since their inception three years ago, the International Awards for Art Criticism ( IAAC ) have made many important advances, thanks to the diligence and hard work of all concerned. We set out on this venture with an open mind, and this has paved the way to our current success. This, in turn, has enabled us to move forward with growing confidence, and an expanding circle of peers and supporters.

The IAAC has received submissions from a total of nearly eight hundred individuals in the three years of its existence. The applicants, writing in English or Chinese, have come from over forty countries worldwide and twenty-two Provinces of China and have included professional art critics and journalists, art school teachers and students, academics and researchers, freelance writers and a handful of highly motivated art enthusiasts. Between them, they have provided an impressive range of enlightened and informed commentary on current developments in contemporary art.

By means of its bilingual Exhibition Reviews Annual, its website and its associated programme of talks and discussions, the IAAC has, to date, provided nine principal Award winners and around sixty shortlisted competitors with global exposure and rich opportunities for professional development.

Each year, the IAAC Board and its organising partners conduct a comprehensive review of the previous year’s procedures, including the selection of jury members, publicity, the call for submissions and the process of ( anonymous ) adjudication. Reviewing the applications each year tells us much about the latest creative practices by artists all over the world and current trends in curatorial and exhibition-related practices by various museums and art institutions. This process not only enables us to map the current landscape of art criticism – we use it to examine the criteria we ourselves apply to our work, and to audit our own practices within Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum.

We encourage a fearless, holistic approach to critical thinking that connects language and art with clarity of expression, and values integrity over deference to the market, to authority or even to popular taste. We favour writing that is critically self-aware, respectful of the artist’s intentions and makes inroads into the broader fields of culture, society, the economy, science and technology.

Over the past three years, the IAAC has increasingly benefited from the wide range of resources available in Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum. We are also grateful to have forged a positive relationship with the following organisations: our principal partners at the Royal College of Art ( RCA ) in London, the International Association of Art Critics ( AICA ) in Paris and the Shanghai Artemis Art Center ( SAAC ). We have also formed long-term sponsorship relationships with the China Minsheng Bank, the Anxin Trust Co. Ltd. and the Shanghai Minsheng Art Foundation. In addition, the Cultural Department of the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Government offer us welcome strategic support and advice. Several national universities and academies have become our partners, in promoting and deepening the mission of the IAAC by co-organising panel discussions and public talks on art criticism. As media partners, dozens of domestic and international press and online media have conducted timely, extensive and in-depth coverage of the IAAC’s activities. An increasing number of art critics and art and culture professionals have become voluntary partners, in helping the IAAC achieve its goals. To all these partners and supporters we wish to express our heartfelt thanks!

Over the past three years the IAAC has witnessed the progressive merger between the M21 Art Museum and the Minsheng Art Museum. The new, unified Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum will continue working with the IAAC, to promote its awards and the development of art criticism. We plan to encourage new developments in museum practice with our research, and hope to integrate new levels of critical awareness into a range of museological activities.

 

Zhiyi Gan

Director of Minsheng Art

Administration Committee

 

当语言与艺术交锋
金写于第三届国际艺术评论奖之

国际艺术评论奖( IAAC )迄今已走过三年历程。回望来路,我们从三年前怀揣懵懂与憧憬地启程,到如今走出一条日渐清晰的路径,并且汇聚了越来越多的同路人,越来越从容笃定地前行,我们付出了努力和艰辛,但也收获颇多。

国际艺术评论奖三年来征集了近800篇稿件,作者来自40多个国家和地区,其中包括艺术机构从业者、专栏作者、艺术教育及研究机构的教师及学生,以及艺术爱好者。他们在一定程度上代表了当今世界关注当代艺术、并且以学术的视角认真观察、思索的群体;他们的写作反映了对当代艺术的思考所能够抵达的高度、深度和广度。

国际艺术评论奖自2014年举办第一届至今,已经产生了9个大奖获得者和大约60个入围作者。国际艺术评论奖通过各种方式和渠道,使他( 她 )们获得了更多的关注,并成为他们专业发展的助力。

每一届国际艺术评论奖,从评委选择、对外宣传、征稿到入围稿件的匿名遴选,都让我们更好地审视当下艺术评论现状、自我提问并尝试更加完善自己。通过征稿文本,我们不仅得以勾绘出一幅当下艺术世界的版图,了解世界各地的艺术家们正在进行的最新创作实践以及全球美术馆和艺术机构的最新动向,也使得我们得以检验过往工作标准和自我实践。

我们倡导原创、独立、客观的写作。我们呼吁艺术评论中的批判精神,鼓励用语言与艺术交锋,进行勇敢无畏的表达,不向商业、市场、权威,甚至大众妥协,做出冷静的思考和真诚的表述。优秀的艺术评论文本,不只是对艺术作品的解读和阐释,其文本自身就是凝聚写作者观察与思考的完整作品,是以艺术家的创作为路径所展开、所进行的一种自我认知的表达和探索;我们希望这种探索可以跨越艺术语境的界限,向更广泛的思想、文化、社会、经济、科技等领域延展,对艺术作品和创作进行更为全面整体的考量;我们期望艺术评论将艰深的学术话语与生动的现场观感和独特的个人语风相结合,呈现鲜明的文字特色。

三年来,围绕国际艺术评论奖,我们有幸以绵薄之力汇聚了美术馆所能够企及的各种外部资源,并与之缔结了良好的合作关系:英国皇家艺术学院( RCA )、国际艺术评论协会( AICA )和上海至美艺术发展中心( SAAC )成为我们长期的合作伙伴;中国民生银行股份有限公司、安信信托股份有限公司、上海民生艺术基金会成为国际艺术评论奖长期的赞助者和支持者;上海浦东新区政府及文化主管部门对M21美术馆发展给予的政策扶持与关怀鼓励;国内一些大学、学院,通过与美术馆共同开展艺术评论的系列研讨和公共座谈,成为我们推广及深化国际艺术评论奖的学术合作伙伴;数十家国内外平面及网络媒体,对国际艺术评论奖进行及时、广泛并且逐渐深入的报道,成为我们的媒介伙伴;越来越多的艺术评论家、文化艺术专业人士从关注国际艺术评论奖开始,成为关注M21美术馆发展的专业志愿者伙伴在此向所有伙伴们和支持者们一并表示由衷的谢忱。

国际艺术评论奖的三年,也见证了M21美术馆从创馆伊始到走向两馆合并后再次启程的成长历程,未来的上海民生现代美术馆仍将与国际艺术评论奖一路同行,不断致力于推动这一奖项以及艺术批评的进步,并把国际艺术评论奖带给我们的种种思考和启示融入于未来美术馆的实践中,开启美术馆与艺术评论互相推动、共生共荣的新的一页。

 

甘智漪 上海民生现代美术馆馆长
LOGOS