January 2010 Archives

Dave Hickey at the Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University (Jan. 14, 2010)

I was highly anticipating this lecture from Dave Hickey-- writer, freelance art and cultural critic, and MacArthur Fellowship winner among his many claims to fame. (As with any discussion of Warhol, the concept of fame itself played an important part throughout the evening.)   I had seen Dave speak one time before, in conjunction with his Beau Monde biennial at SITE Santa Fe, so I was eager to draw a comparison between the two talks.

But to be honest, I mostly went for the fun of just hanging out--for a short while and in a large crowd--in Hickey's presence. This was, I knew, the best place to enjoy his patented irreverence for certain aspects of life, his deft ability to pontificate on the intellectual underpinnings of American culture and democracy, and also where I could hopefully catch a brief joyride in the critical musings which, in the title essay of his collection "Air Guitar," he describes as "flurries of silent sympathetic gestures with nothing at their heart but the memory of the music."

Not many "rock star" art critics swing through the Raleigh-Durham area, so when it happens, ya gotta go.  As a participant in the endeavor of criticism myself,  I must admit a deep regard for Dave's writing, his cultural essays and "Art Issues" pieces in particular, for their accessibility, range and, like them or not, his compelling critiques.
January 15, 2010 11:08 AM |

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