Jeanne Randolph gives an embodied history of ficto-criticism—a term she coined in 1983 to describe a form of art criticism she practiced while living as part of the arts community in Toronto’s Queen and Spadina neighborhood. This method emerged as a way for Randolph to navigate the enmeshed personal-public-professional lines in this 1980s contemporary art scene, often writing about artists who were friends, lovers, and neighbours. Randolph sees fictionalization, commingled with storytelling and theory (including psychoanalytic theory), as a form of creativity and strategy for art writing. To be clear, there was nothing “authentic” about the autobiographical as it came to bear on her criticism: rather, autobiographical anecdotes were told in a parafictional way, to prompt viewers and readers to question whether or not that thing actually happened. Her performance lecture looks to the history and present-day stakes of ficto-criticism as a practice that playfully engages artworks and the communities that surround them while—she hopes—evading scholarly apprehensions and academic ways of accounting for art through "a highly motivated rhetorical gambit."
The performance lecture will run for approximately 45 minutes, followed by 15 mins of Q&A.