AJ Logo an ARTSJOURNAL weblog | ArtsJournal Home | AJ Blog Central

« Art in the American Outback: News Roundup | Main | Thoughts on an increasingly freelance industry »

June 17, 2007

Critical Relativism

Joe Nickell

Every day in my work as an arts journalist in Montana, I think about the standards by which I should assess the art that I confront here. Montana theater is not the same as New York theater, for reasons not only of scale but of culture. While in Los Angeles for this year's NEA arts journalism institute in theater, listening to big-city theater journalists and critics talk about the particular challenges of their jobs, this became an even more poignant issue for me. My job is not like their jobs, because our theater is not like their theater and my culture is not their culture.

When I returned to Montana, I was asked to write an essay about my experiences at the institute for Montana Journalism Review, a publication of the University of Montana's journalism school.

I chose to use that soapbox as an opportunity to dive into the issue of what I now refer to as critical relativism. The essay was just published this week. Rather than rehash what I wrote, I thought I'd share the whole thing.

Posted by Joe Nickell at June 17, 2007 6:16 AM