Momus is an art publication that stresses “a return to art criticism” that is evaluative, accountable, and brave. We try to offer a reprieve from – and rebuke against – the toxic poles of elitism and populism that frame so much public conversation. In our first five years, Momus has worked to promote skepticism without cynicism; accessibility without infantilism; and an imperative to read a cultural text more deeply. We dedicate ourself to the vital, uphill work of art criticism in a mostly uncritical time.
Momus has quickly become a trusted reference for those wishing to reflect on contemporary art at a slightly slower pace, and with greater focus and integrity than online platforms typically allow. Since our inauguration, Momus has also been shortlisted twice for the International Award for Art Criticism, and was recently featured in a Harvard University review for leading the charge in online writers’ remuneration. It has attracted over 1 million regular readers since 2014.
Recently named one of the top-ten art podcasts by The New York Times (March 2020), Momus: The Podcast promotes “criticism in conversation” on a variety of timely issues relating to contemporary art and the present moment. Momus publisher Sky Goodden, with co-producer and co-host Lauren Wetmore, delve into “back rooms and white cubes,” bringing Momus‘s unique insistence on criticality into a more conversational register. Leading artists, curators, and art writers from around the world weigh in on topics ranging from art journalism, to art and technology criticism, to the relevance of the Venice Biennale, and the ubiquity of the artist residency.
For season two, which is being released on a monthly basis between March and November 2019, Momus has established a central question for its theme: “What makes great art?” In brief, bright episodes, Wetmore and Goodden speak with writers, curators, filmmakers, novelists, and artists about their experiences with the ‘itness’ of great art, and trace their efforts to seek it out or replicate it in their own life. Momus: The Podcast’s guests include Peggy Gale, Sheila Heti, Daniel Baumann, Andrew Berardini, Osei Bonsu, Michelle Grabner, Dushko Petrovich, Nora Khan, Dayna Danger, Catherine G. Wagley, Jacob Wren, Jeanne Randolph, Tyler Green, Jarrett Earnest, Jinn Bronwen Lee, Francis McKee, Katerina Gregos, Francis McKee, Isabel Lewis, Margaux Williamson, and Morgan Quaintance, among others.
Momus‘s first print anthology, Momus: A Return to Art Criticism, Vol. 1 (2014-17), was published in late October 2017. This beautifully-designed and weighted compendium of our best writing to date toured Canada, the US, and Mexico in 2017-18. A few remaining copies are available for purchase here on our website, and in bookstores and galleries around the world.
The Momus Emerging Critics Residency is an intensive residency program intended for a spectrum of participants, including current students, alumna, and working professionals arriving from any number of fields. It helps foster the next generation of art writers through mentorship and practical skills development. Participants from year one have already gone on to publish with Momus, edit for Momus, and win national writing awards. Together, we tackle the most relevant issues facing art criticism in the 21st century, with a focus on publishing in the digital age, pitching, editing, podcasting, budgeting, collaborating, hustling, and getting published.
This summer’s residencies – one hosted through OCAD University (Toronto) and the other, Concordia University (Montreal) – are both being held online, and feature lectures and workshops to help prepare emerging or returning critics for a stepped-up industry, and help shape and encourage the next generation of arts-publishing professionals.
All applicants are welcome, from every place, any age, and any point in their career, whether stepping into the field or returning, but we will be paying special attention to our Black, POC, and Indigenous emerging critic applicants, and are currently ready to underwrite those who cannot afford to participate with scholarships and/or free tuition.
The residency program is two weeks – part-time days – online.
Concordia University, Montreal, August 3 – 14. Application process closed.
OCAD University, Toronto, August 17 – 28. Application process closed.
Sky Goodden is the founding Publisher and Editor of Momus, an art publication that stresses “a return to art criticism.” Momus has attracted a wide audience since its inauguration in 2014, and was shortlisted for two International Awards in Art Criticism. Momus published its first print anthology in 2017, titled Momus: A Return to Art Criticism Vol. 1 (2014-17), and produces Momus: The Podcast. In March 2020, Momus: The Podcast was named one of The New York Times’ top ten art podcasts. In August 2019, Momus hosted its inaugural Momus Emerging Critics Residency at Concordia University, in its effort to help encourage and professionalize emerging arts publishers and writers as they prepare to enter the field. Momus Residencies are being held at OCAD University and Concordia University in summer 2020. Goodden has written for Frieze, Art in America, Modern Painters, the National Post, Art21, and C Magazine, among others. She holds an MFA in Criticism & Curatorial Practice from OCAD University (2010), which, in 2016, presented her with an Alumni of Influence Award. In 2019, the Arts & Letters Club awarded Goodden the J.E.H. MacDonald Award. Goodden was the 2018-19 Artist-in-Residence at Concordia University. She lives in Montreal.
Andrew Berardini is a writer in Los Angeles and a contributing editor at Momus. A finalist for the Premio Bonaldi and winner of an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Grant for Art Writers in 2013, he has a book forthcoming from Mousse on artist Danh Vo, and is currently at work on a another about color. Berardini is the co-founder of the Art Book Review, and edits for numerous other publications, including Artslant and Mousse. He has been a regular contributor to Art Review, LA Weekly, and Artforum.
Catherine G. Wagley writes about art and visual culture in Los Angeles. She currently works as an art critic for L.A. Weekly, and contributes to a number of other publications, most recently CARLA, ARTNews, East of Borneo, and L.A. Review of Books.
Saelan Twerdy is a freelance writer based in Montreal and a PhD candidate in Art History at McGill University. He is a contributing editor at Momus and his writing has appeared in venues such as Canadian Art, Border Crossings, C magazine, Magenta, Blackflash, Bad Day, and The New Inquiry. He has also contributed to books and exhibition catalogues published by Concordia University’s FOFA Gallery, Fogo Island Arts/Sternberg Press, and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.
Mark Mann is a writer and critic based in Toronto and Montreal. His essays, reviews, and feature journalism have appeared in Toronto Life, The Walrus, the Globe and Mail, Vice, Maisonneuve, and The Dance Current, among others. Mann won the National Magazine Award for Humor in 2010.
Tausif Noor is a freelance writer and graduate student at Goldsmiths, University of London conducting research in visual culture, politics, and art history. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and has worked in non-profit art spaces in India, where he was a Fulbright Research Fellow from 2014-15.
Rahel Aima is a writer based in Brooklyn. She is Special Projects editor at The New Inquiry and a founding editor of THE STATE.
Mitch Speedis Momus‘s contributing editor, Berlin, as of August 2016. His writing has appeared in Frieze, Camera Austria, Turps, and Canadian Art. Speed has an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, at Rutgers University, and a BFA from Emily Carr University, in Vancouver. While at Rutgers, he was a part-time lecturer at the undergraduate level, and founder of a reading group titled The Obsolete Juror, focusing on the relationship between contemporary art and writing. From 2011 until 2014, he was founder and co-editor of Setup, a journal of contemporary art and writing published by Publication Studio.
Kimberlee Córdova lives and works in Mexico City, DF. She received her BA in painting from the University of California at Santa Barbara (2007), and is a graduate of Soma’s postgraduate art program in Mexico City (2014). Solo exhibitions include The Dodo’s Verdict, Casa Mauuad (Mexico City, DF), and Brief Encounters with Tezcatlipoca at Bikini Wax (Mexico City, DF). Group exhibitions include exhibitions in Guadelajara, Mexico; Bogotá, Columbia; Los Angeles; and the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art in San Francisco.
Maru Pabón is a Puerto Rican writer and translator currently based in New York City. She is a PhD student in Comparative Literature at Yale University, working on postcolonial theories of language and the intellectual legacy of internationalism in the Middle East and Latin America. Her work is forthcoming or has previously appeared in ArabLit Quarterly, Barricade: A Journal of Antifascism and Translation, The Brooklyn Rail, and Electric Literature.
Lauren Wetmore is a curator and writer based in Brussels. She has contributed to exhibitions, biennials, and commissions internationally including Frieze Projects (London, 2014-15); the 2013 Carnegie International (Pittsburgh, 2013); and Meeting Points 8, a biennial of art from and in the Arab World, which took place at the Beirut Art Center (Beirut, 2017), La Loge (Brussels, 2016), and the Windsor Hotel (Cairo, 2016). Her curatorial project The Conversation won the Encura curatorial residency at Fundació AAVC Hangar (Barcelona, 2015). Wetmore was short-listed for the 2016 International Awards for Art Criticism for her piece in Momus, and she has contributed to publications including Xavier Cha: abduct (MOCA Cleveland, 2015) and These Are the Tools of the Present: Beirut – Cairo (Sternberg Press, 2017). She holds a MFA in Criticism & Curatorial Practice from OCAD University (Toronto, 2011) and a BA in Art History and Gender Studies from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, 2008).
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