Friday, 19 March 2010

A Note on Criticism: 3

From Criticizing Photographs
An Introduction to Understanding Images by Terry Barrett from pages 1- 2
"...This book is about reading and doing photography criticism so that you can better appreciate photographs by using critical processes. Unfortunately, we usually don't equate criticism with appreciation because in everyday language the term criticism has negative connotations: It is used to refer to the act of making judgments, usually negative judgments, and the act of expressing disapproval. In mass media, critics are portrayed as judges of art: Reviewers in newspapers rate restaurants with stars, and critics on television rate movies with thumbs up or thumbs down or from 1 to 10, constantly reinforcing judgemental aspects of criticism. Of all the words critics write, those most often quoted are judgements: "The best play of the season!" "Dazzling!" “Brilliant!" These are the words highlighted in bold type in movie and theatre ads because these words sell tickets. But they comprise few of the critic’s total output of words, and they have been quoted out of context. The value of these snippets for our reaching an understanding of a play or a movie is minimal. Critics are writers who like art and choose to spend their lives thinking and writing about it".

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