Every week foundation team up with the degree students to critique each others work. I love to see what my fellow students are working on as we are all so busy getting on with our own work that its easy to miss what others are doing. I was particularly interested in seeing some work by the degree students and today one of them decided to show off their work. First of all the representative showing their work has to decided just how honest they would like the critique to be and it is measured in strength of a curry. A korma is a light hearted critique a Bhuna with side of chips is a slightly tougher critique while a Vindaloo is the toughest critique you can have. (no holds barred).
The first to show his work was one of the degree students and he chosen to receive a vindaloo critique. He had taken a book he purchased by a Contemporary Photographer. The Photographs were taken of a variety of different nude poses exposing different Gender, Age and sexual orientation and the book appeared to be vandalised. The student talked through what he had done, explaining he had started to black out sensitive material in the image portrayed and the Tutor thought it best to look at the book first. The student then went on to say that he got bored with what he was doing and was running out of time and decided to write in the corners instead. The tutor was gasping and shaking his head while looking at it and begun to ask questions that the student couldn’t answer without back tracking and confusing himself and us but what was worse is that the student wouldn’t take responsibility for what he had chosen to black out or write saying it wasn’t his words but the words of others. The tutor was not happy to let the book go around the class for fear of offending people which actually made people more inquisitive. Eventually the book was shown to us. Instead of going into to much detail about the piece of work it was not received well with the students who were critiquing. There was a lot of sexist, Ageist and negative quotes and he was the one who came under scrutiny instead of the work. It wasn’t that he had destroyed the book as much as him not taking the responsibility for what he had written and not understanding that people don’t see things the way he can see it in his head. We can only see what he has done and written and that’s why he has caused offense.
It was a heated critique and one that was talked about for days after.
We were then shown two more fad students work. One student who hadn’t really done very much but was given the right advice to take him on further and another who had taken some really lovely photographs and done a lot of work around confessions and we struggled to critique her because her work was so good.
Today was the first time I really saw the benefit of these critiques. I learnt how important it is to have a good concept and a good understanding of what you are trying to achieve in your work. I learnt how not to expect everyone to understand your views and agree with them and to always take responsibility for what you do. To listen to advice good or bad and own it and learn from it.