It fell to me this week to present to our PhD Art and Design seminar group – the topic was to examine notions of quality and ‘yardsticks’ in evaluating exhibited work (or, as I was rather more interested, whether work needs to be exhibited?)
I am, in my lefty, arty way, uncomfortable with the language of ‘quality’ – is that with a capital Q, and therefore bringing in ideas about quality assurance and an established view of what must be best? Am I nevertheless reliant on seeking out signals of ‘quality’ and authenticity, as in marks like this on a Moorcroft vase in my dining room?
John Carey, in ‘What Good Are the Arts’ (2005) articulates my concerns in presenting the problem that “Value […] is not intrinsic in objects, but attributed to them by whoever is doing the valuing” and so we use the same semantic field for the…
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