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CRITICISM, PERFORMANCE and the need for conversation

Alison Croggon

Platform Paper 61

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Alison Croggon

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In this paper Alison Croggon, one of Australia’s most insightful cultural critics, looks back from the days when the daily broadsheet newspapers were unrivalled in authority, to the collapse of the print media and opening of a free market for digital public opinion. The dramatic downsizing of the Fairfax empire’s Sydney Morning Herald and The Age hit arts journalism badly and coincided with the rise of arts-oriented websites across Australia. Croggon sees the demise of the old criticism as a loss of power and received wisdom but also an opportunity to engage artists, critics and audiences in conversations of global collaboration and reference. With this breakdown of institutional criticism, which, she says, had latterly focussed on art as a commodity, came the opportunity to rethink our assumptions about what critical responses to art might be. It has offered a chance to open the door to new ways of thinking, a way of enriching both the communities around art and the process of making art itself. 

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About the Author

Alison Croggon is a prolific multi-award-winning Australian writer. Her first volume of poetry, This is the Stone, won the Anne Elder Award and the Mary Gilmore Prize.