Survival of the Critic: Arts Writing in 2019

Running Dog at Verge :: Survival of the Critic: Arts Writing in 2019
March 14, 6 – 8 pm
Admission is free

Verge Gallery is excited to be partnering with Running Dog in 2019, presenting several events across the year. These events will expand on Running Dog and Verge Gallery’s commitment to fostering critical dialogue around creative practice and engaging with audiences. Survival of the Critic: Arts Writing in 2019 is the first of these events and is curated by Running Dog’s founding editor Naomi Riddle.

As a young publication, Running Dog is often told that arts criticism is a dying form, and that its audience no longer exists. This event aims to find out if this claim is true.

‘Survival of the Critic’ will bring together Pedro de Almeida, Lauren Carroll Harris, and Neha Kale—three established writers and editors—to tackle the thorny issue of arts criticism in 2019.

Is independent and rigorous criticism economically feasible or sustainable, and do people actually want to read it?
Is there space for experimentation and playfulness in arts writing, and what is its value to the community at large?
What is the relationship between artists and curators and the writers reviewing their shows?

Can criticism work to create a particular ethics or politics of looking, and how do we decolonise the practice of gate keeping while still encouraging critique?

In posing these questions, we want to investigate both the constraints and freedom of the online publishing space. We want to consider fragility as a productive force, which allows us to open up the conversation around what it means to write about contemporary art.

Pedro de Almeida is a curator, programmer, arts manager, writer and editor. He has been Program Manager at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art since 2012. Curatorial projects for 4A include Dacchi Dang: An Omen Near and Far (2017); Sea Pearl White Cloud 海珠白雲 (2016, co-curated with Anthony Yung); MASS GROUP INCIDENT (2015, co-curated with Toby Chapman and Aaron Seeto); and Beijing Silvermine (2014). Pedro’s writing on art is published regularly, appearing in ArtAsiaPacific, Art Monthly Australasia and Broadsheet Journal among others, as well as several exhibition catalogues and artists’ monographs. He is editor of 4A Papers.

Lauren Carroll Harris publishes widely on cinema and contemporary art, working as the TV Critic for The Screen Show on Radio National. She writes a column for the Guardian Australia, is a contributing editor of Kill Your Darlings and has a doctorate in film from UNSW.

Neha Kale is a writer, journalist and cultural critic. She writes features, criticism and essays about art, culture, people and places and her work has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald’s Spectrum, The Saturday Paper, SBS Life, the Guardian, VICE, ABC, Broadsheet and many more. She is the former editor and editor-at-large of VAULT magazine.

Seating and Accessibility
Seating is on a first-come, first served basis. Entrance to Verge Gallery is via Jane Foss Russell Plaza. Lift access is available from both City Road and Maze Crescent onto the Plaza. If you have specific questions about access, please contact us prior to the event and we will make every effort to accommodate you.

Running Dog is an online arts platform that publishes weekly articles about exhibitions and events taking place in Sydney and regional New South Wales. Running Dog is committed to covering the work of emerging and established artists through circulating regular content about artist run spaces, collectives, commercial galleries, institutions, one-off events and festivals.

Image credit: Detail from Eadweard Muybridge, Animal Locomotion: an Electro-Photographic Investigation of Connective Phases of Animal Movements (1887), accessed via