“What Makes Great Art?” with Dushko Petrovich

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Season 2, Episode 3

In our 10th episode, we continue our season-long exploration of the question, “What makes great art,” speaking to essential voices of our time about their experiences of seeking it. What follows is an interview between Momus Publisher Sky Goodden and Dushko Petrovich. Born in Ecuador and based in Chicago, Dushko is the chair of the New Arts Journalism program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and works in several critical and creative capacities, including as publisher and artist. He is the co-founder of the beloved Paper Monument, among others, and by all indications, the heart of his publishing activity is activist. In a searching conversation, Petrovich and Goodden land on their mutual desire and responsibility to foster a space for criticism and change. What makes great art? Petrovich argues that the metrics by which we know it are being actively altered.

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“What Makes Great Art?” with Osei Bonsu

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Season 2, Episode 2

In continuing our season-long exploration of the question “What makes great art?” co-hosts Lauren Wetmore and Sky Goodden speak to essential voices about what are we seeking – and so often missing – in our experience of art. What follows is an interview with the British-Ghanaian curator, critic, and art historian Osei Bonsu. Based in Paris and London, Bonsu focuses on transnational histories of art. In conversation with Lauren Wetmore, he contemplates how we have exchanged a generosity of thought for a culture of transaction, and how the experience of meeting great art can be ahistorical – out of place and out of time.

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“What Makes Great Art?” with Jeanne Randolph and Sheila Heti

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Season 2, Episode 1

What makes “great art”? How do we account for what Gertrude Stein called the “itness” of art, and what are we seeking – and so often missing – in our experience of art? In brief, bright 30-minute episodes, Momus: The Podcast’s second season will follow co-hosts Lauren Wetmore and Sky Goodden as they speak with writers, curators, filmmakers, novelists, and artists about this searching. They ask, “What are their experiences with the ‘itness’, and with tracing it or trying to replicate it in their own work and in their lives?” In the first episode of the season, Goodden and Wetmore speak to performance artist, ficto-critic, and psychoanalyst Jeanne Randolph, as well as celebrated novelist Sheila Heti, who memorably says of art, “The person that loves it is the one that is right.”

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“Over, Again and Again,” Renewing Canada’s Artist-Run Culture

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Season 1, Episode 7

In Momus: The Podcast‘s 7th episode, we have brought together a group of artists, curators, and scholars to update the conversation around Artist-Run Culture in Canada. It’s a well-known history, one approaching legend, in this country: the emergence of artist-run centers seeking to address a lack of options for artist representation while forming a network across a vast geography; and then their professionalization, one approaching an institutionalization that mirrors the very thing they were made to contravene. Now, in a moment of large shifts across the arts sector, with a recent change to our country’s funding models, and a refocusing of our social values on historically underrepresented groups, our relationship to a Canadian cultural legacy is up for renewal.

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An Ethics of Abundance with Jacob Wren and Dayna Danger

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Season 1, Episode 6

Writer and collaborative performer, Jacob Wren, speaks with artist Dayna Danger, about the line between empowerment and objectification and the meaning of community in both their work. Danger is a 2Spirit/Queer, Metis/Saulteaux/Polish artist whose images highlight and queer power dynamics, kinship, representation, and sexuality. Wren makes collaborative performances, exhibitions and literature, including 2014’s Polyamorous Love Song and this year’s Authenticity is a Feeling, a hybrid of history, performance theory, and memoir. Together they cover a lot of ground, from personal narratives and community relationships to speaking against silence and apathy. We also receive a set of strategies for working and living in capitalist and colonial society, including creating your own rituals and adopting an ethics of abundance.

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Conflict of Interest with Tyler Green and Catherine G. Wagley

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Season 1, Episode 5

In this episode of “Criticism in Conversation”, two art critics and historians discuss “conflict of interest” in contemporary art criticism. Tyler Green, the host of the popular Modern Art Notes Podcast  and Catherine G. Wagley, a critic who regularly publishes with artnet News, the LA Review of Books, and Momus, frame the stakes and risks of a critic writing on contemporary – and even historical – figures in art, especially in light of the market’s increasingly firm grip on our discourse. We can hear them debate the most ethical approach to navigating nepotism, allyship, and critical distance in contemporary art writing. And as a centerpiece to this discussion, they cite the recent example of an art historian outing two leading art publications for acquiescing to the control exercised by a leading gallery over the material published on its artists. In an artworld where conflict-of-interest is endemic and normalized, our attention should be heightened, especially regarding the powers that dictate the terms by which we critique, historicize, and debate.

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Art and Technology Criticism with Nora Khan and Mike Pepi

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Season 1, Episode 4

Two art and technology critics, Nora Khan and Mike Pepi, discuss pushing for a rigorous critical discourse in a creative field that can flatten evaluative distinctions in favor of zealotry for invention. “Criticism of a tool that’s presented as neutral when it really is a piece of social engineering is incredibly hard to do, and there really isn’t a model for criticism in this space,” says Khan. In this far-ranging discussion that touches on the critical distance and yet humanism required of writing on the internet, surveillance, and AI, Khan and Pepi assert that tools aren’t divorced from their makers, and artwork is never post-human – nor post-critique.

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Art Criticism vs. Journalism with Catherine G. Wagley and Julia Halperin

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Season 1, Episode 3

In the first episode of Momus’s new “Criticism in Conversation” podcast series, an art critic and an art journalist parse the differing responsibilities and approaches of their craft. Catherine G. Wagley (a Momus contributing editor, and a critic for ARTNews and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among others) and Julia Halperin (Executive Editor of artnet News, and former Museums Editor for The Art Newspaper) compare notes and find common ground as they consider, in particular, the example of a potent piece of journalism published by Halperin concerning the influence of five commercial galleries on worldwide institutional programming. Wagley wonders if this kind of reporting isn’t also the province of criticism, as these politics affect what we see – and how.

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The Artist Residency

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Season 1, Episode 2

The artist residency has risen to the top of the artworld’s global economy and increasing professionalization, becoming one of the key features of contemporary art practice. Momus publisher and podcast host Sky Goodden leads an overdue critical conversation on this phenomenon and its consequences for art practice in the 21st century. Featuring international voices close to the subject, Goodden – joined by co-host Lauren Wetmore, a Brussels-based curator and writer – discusses the risks and rewards of an actively-commercializing enterprise, and where it came out of.

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The Venice Biennale

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Season 1, Episode 1

Welcome to the pilot episode of Momus: The Podcast. For our first broadcast, we focus on the historic Venice Biennale as the 57th edition opens to the public. We air a conversation on its history, institution, relevance, and potential, with insight arriving from a group of critics, curators, artists, and gallerists speaking to us from around the world. In this vibrant and myriad discussion, we question this event’s potential for political comment; its profile amid a “festivalist” biennial culture; its emphasis on nationalism; and the latest edition’s success.

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