People are always ready to dish furious clap-back at critics when they go about doing their jobs that’s even if we have critics in this part of the globe but I trust we do. Art critics are not left out of the charade. They say stuffs like “can you do it better? can you write better? can you direct a better play or are you even a pro?”
While they may be justified in their perception, here’s what we think you should consider.
A critic is as Merriam-Webster defines ‘one who expresses a reasoned opinion on any matter especially involving a judgment of its value, truth… beauty or technique’. More profoundly a critic is ‘one who engages professionally in the analysis, evaluation, or appreciation of works of art or artistic performance’.
Going back to the earliest days of human civilization to our of artificial intelligence and into the future, critics abound to help maintain the modal of art works. A good critic is worth his wages if he understands the nitty-gritty of his discourse.
Still on the matter, a critic doesn’t have to be a professional in any of the field he works on in terms of practice. He doesn’t have to be the better writer (doesn’t even need to be one), director, artisan, make-up artist or model. A critic’s duty is to match up a work of art to established standards, defined criteria and aesthetics. I guess someone is asking, why must every art work march up to a standard? We’ll, a simple answer would be “every profession has a standard so why not Art?”
Art is serious business, theatre is serious business, secular or religious. Forget about ‘Made-in-Aba or Alaba’ films, when we talk about standards, those we speak about know themselves. So a critic is not meant to pet the work or the artist, he is to dissect it, critically scan and put it up in the theatre for aesthetic surgery. His duty to art is not to lower the bar rather, raise it to a top-notch. Lowering the bar would be promoting mediocrity and laxity and we don’t tolerate such in the Arts and humanity field.
We would be deceiving ourselves if we think a critic must write a play, direct or be an actor etc no, they mustn’t but by all means they must know the basics, 4D and principles of a well-made play or art. They ain’t make-up or costume professionals but definitely experts knowledgeable of the accepted standard. A critic can be likened to a consultant; you know what consultants do right? Well if you don’t know, just wink at me. The question from now on shouldn’t be “can a critic’s creativity equal the artistes?” The proper question should be – what is the critics’ duty?
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© SL Kreativez, 2017.