I never really liked them before, but now I really hate them. Well, not the critique itself so much as the critique-ers.
So, today we were being critiqued on our final project in my college photography class. I came to class with my usual critique day attitude: somewhat nervous about the comments my work would receive, irritated that some comments might be less than complimentary, but heartened by the fact that it would be over soon enough.
But today there was a twist. Rather than posting our work and having a class discussion–where I could choose to withhold commentary, we were to make a written critique on one person’s assignment in particular, then read our critique to the class.
The critique commenced; discussions of the use of light, color, line, the meaning of a particular gesture, etc. I was slightly bored, but still a tad queasy at the prospect of public speaking when my turn came. And come it did. I steeled myself in preparation to bear the collective gaze of my peers, and read what I had written. When, to my immense relief, I was finished speaking, the others were free to begin making comments. There were praises and suggestions for improvement–as I had expected–but one girl in particular got on my nerves.
She had made comments about other projects of mine in the past, most of them rather critical. Let’s just call her “M”. M is sitting across the room from me, blocked from my view by several people. She says “I think the first picture works well, but I don’t get it’s connection the second image…I mean, I guess it just doesn’t make any sense”.
Now, another artist may have taken this with a grain of salt and said, “Well, that’s just her perspective. This project was partially about interpretation after all.” And that is in fact very true. But I didn’t like this girl very much. She always seemed to have something negative to say. I’d also noticed that most of her negative comments were about the art of the black students. That’s not to say she made them solely about the art of the other black students, but I found it happened a bit too often for my liking.
I was immediately offended. “Did you even try to make a connection between the images? This is an art class after all. Maybe if you were a bit more creative you could have made a connection, you snarky little witch.” That’s what I would have liked to say, but didn’t. (Although I think she completely deserved it.) Who was she to talk about lack of connection when, in my opinion, her images were stale and unimaginative? They were more like something you’d see in a cheap tv ad, rather than an art gallery.
I think it goes without saying that I was pretty steamed for the rest of the class period. Call it oversensitivity, but I really think M is a bit racist.
.....Just needed to vent.