In this conversation, Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò and David Garneau discuss the problem of publicly speaking for others and speaking on given topics, particularly when it comes to publishing criticism of a given work of art or cultural text. Grounding the conversation in their respective practices —Táíwò as a musician, writer, and philosopher, and Garneau as an artist, critic, and curator—the two think through the relationships between art criticism, philosophy, and positioning. Drawing from frameworks such as standpoint epistemology and Black, Indigenous, and decolonial thinking, they consider such questions as: who speaks, for whom, on what, and how? Who can or should write about art by Black or Indigenous artists? Does consent play a role in criticism—in the sense of a writer or critic needing consent, or permission, to write about a given work—and why or why not? What forms might writers take up when speaking for or about others with whom they may or may not have a relation? The two brainstorm strategies for critics when it comes to approaching a given work and looking at, reflecting on, and producing responses to artworks via writing, oral critique, and other practices.
The conversation will run for approximately 30-45 minutes, followed by 45 mins for Q&A.