I have spent the last year looking for my own voice. Putting all other writing assignments aside. It (this voice of mine) has, as some of you might have noticed, bounced off in all kinds of directions. It has sometimes wandered far off into the field of poetry, for then suddenly popping up amongst heaps of everyday dust & dirt. It’s an unstable voice – unreliable.
I have not found what I have been looking for. Or; I’m not sure what I have heard – so my search will have to continue. But from the autumn on, I will also go back to writing art criticism. I have been very kindly asked to do so, a generous offer from my editor will give me much better working conditions than I had, thus I will go public – again.
Has art criticism room for personal voices? I believe yes, but its a complicated matter. How can one develop a voice that is strong and personal and at the same time listen carefully – with critical respect – to the artworks one is reflecting upon? This will be my new challenge.
What matters in scholarship is research, argument, persuasion, and originality, and those ideals make it easy to spend your entire working life without thinking of your own voice.
I do not see my role as critic as being an academic, intellectual maybe, but free from traditional academical conventions. My knowledge is based on academic studies, but my role as a writer is much more that of a path-finder, a go-between middlewoman. In short: I believe my role as a critic is to try to share my experiences in such a way that my readers wants to have a look for themselves. To inspire involvement – how is that for a personal goal???