Distance and Proximity: A Workshop in Experimental Criticism with Jeremy Millar

This seminar is part of a series of ‘Workshops in Experimental Criticism’, co-convened by Iris Pearson and Joe Moshenska, which is continuing this term. The series explores the ways in which creative or experimental methods are stretching, liberating and reshaping the forms, audiences and purposes of critical writing. For information about the series and the project in general, visit: creatingcriticism.web.ox.ac.uk.

We’re always writing from somewhere, and in this workshop we shall consider what it means to have a position, whether in relation to a subject, or a person. It is often said to be important to maintain a ‘critical distance’ from a subject, and yet ‘close knowledge’ is also greatly valued. How far from — or how close to — a subject might one be to write best about it?

In advance of the workshop, you are invited to send an image of an artwork which gives you particular joy, even though you can’t particularly say why. This could be something which is generally admired and possesses cultural status — it need not be a ‘guilty pleasure’ — but what is important is that it affects you in ways you would find hard to explain. We will choose some to look at during the workshop; please feel free to attend even if you have not submitted an image in advance.

If you would like to propose an artwork, please email a jpg or URL to iris.pearson@new.ox.ac.uk by 5pm on Tuesday January 30th.

Jeremy Millar is an artist living in London, whose work has been shown at Tate Modern, London, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Prada Foundation, Venice, and the Jakarta Biennale, amongst numerous other venues. He has also curated many exhibitions, and conceived ‘John Cage: Every Day is a Good Day’ for Hayward Touring, the largest exhibition of Cage’s visual art to date. His work will shortly be seen in ‘For What It’s Worth: Value Systems in Art since 1960’ which opens at The Warehouse, Dallas TX alongside work by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Bruce Nauman, and Elizabeth Price. He is Head of Programme for the Writing MA at the Royal College of Art, London.