Presented for the first time as a full installation in AC [Chapel], Outsourced Critics is a project conceived by artist Holly Crawford. Through an unconventional use of the catalogue from the Amory International Art Fair, Outsourced Critics challenges conventional aesthetics, explores the preconceived concept of an authentic experience in viewing artwork as well delves into the inherently polemic nature of art fairs.
Outsourced Critics consisted of recruiting artists, critics, curators and museum directors from around the world (Europe, India, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Middle East) to review the Armory Fair. Each participant was asked to be an “out”sourced critic—meaning that they were not present in New York City while it took place. Moreover, the terms “outsourced” and “critic” were presented as conceptual questions in themselves. The participants were asked to experience, critically reflect on and respond to the fair solely through the Armory catalogue that was FedEx-ed to them along with the payment of $1.00. Responses were to be text only (no images or other visual mediums were permitted) and completed within a two week time frame.
The submitted texts consist of essays, lists, stories, email correspondences and critical commentaries by Claude Closky, Eitan Buganim, Hemda Rosenbaum, Jerome Sans, Josette Balsa, Brian Curtin, Yonatan Amir, Vasif Kortun and Sven Lutticken, who were brought together with the assistance of Lillian Fellmann. The overall piece reflects the commodification and objectification of art within the market and fairs. The installation also includes the logistical ephemera for Outsourced Critics, such as FedEx tracking numbers and shipping schedules that mark the time and space of the catalog in transit from New York to each participant.
About the Artist
Holly Crawford’s art and poetry give new meanings to critical art theories as well as draw artistic categories into question through unexpected, transformative juxtapositions. Many of her projects are ongoing, site-specific and participatory.
Born in California and now living in New York City, Holly Crawford is cross-media installation artist, poet, behavioral scientist, economist and art historian. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Essex in Art History and Theory, a B.A and M.A. in Economics as well as a M.S. in Behavioral Science from UCLA. From 2004-2006, Crawford was a non-clinical Fellow at NYU Medical School Psychoanalytic Center. She has also been a professor of art at both UCLA and SVA. Crawford exhibits internationally and is the author of Attached to the Mouse (2006) and the catalogue essay Disney and Pop as well as the editor of Artistic Bedfellows (2008). She is the Founder and Director of AC [Institute Direct Chapel], a series of exhibition spaces for experimental art in Chelsea, New York City.