I am planning to publish an artist's book called BAD Reviews, a collection of bad art reviews in the form of quotes, transcripts and reproductions of previously published material.
I take the view that the bad art review is a near extinct form of creative writing which deserves to be honored, and who better suited to do this, than the artist concerned?
I know you were subject to many bad reviews in the early stages of your career and so will greatly appreciate your contributions to this book.
Whether you were hurt or amused, affected or not, the creative energy that went into describing your work in derogatory terms stands for a commitment and is a marker of its time.
I will only publish material that has been voluntarily submitted by the artists themselves, so no slander, but a genuine investigation into the nature of criticism.
I accept original reviews in all languages, which I will endeavor to translate to English. Please send high res scans of printed material, or links to publishing online.
My co-editor on the project Tim Griffin, Director at the Kitchen in NYC, will host a first launch and live reading event when the book will be completed.
The more artists who contribute, and the more material there will be, the more of a substantial survey we can collectively create, so please do forward this mail to your colleagues.
All contributors will receive updates and a copy of the book.
"…Aleksandra Mir, from Lubin, in Poland, is another maker of new maps of the USA, across which she declares the Cold War to be Hot Stuff, in the style of a mustard advert in a hamburger outlet…Young America is a bottomless source of the stuff. This entire display stinks of stupidity and an absent education. Has anyone here read a book or studied history or looked at a Botticelli or questioned a technique or patiently thought their way through an artistic conundrum? Not a chance. This is a generation of paint-happy know- nothings brought up on hamburgers and porn, a talentless bloom of post-pop trailer trash that makes our own Brit Artists look like a parade of Einsteins by comparison".
Waldemar Januszczak, Don't want to be an American idiot, Review of USA Today at the Royal Academy, The Sunday Times, London, 8 Oct 2006
Update January 2016:
This email has already reached artists of every generation around the world and over 100 have pledged their contributions, including AA Bronson, Adriana Lara, Andy Hope 1930, Betty Tompkins, Candice Breitz, Chaira Fumai, Christian Jankowski, Cindy Sherman, Constant Dullaart, Dan Perjovschi, Dara Friedman, David Salle, Deborah Kass, Elizabeth Magill, Genco Gulan, Hector Zamora, Grazia Toderi, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, James Siena, Jenny Saville, Jeremy Deller, Jessica Stockholder, Josephine Meckseper, Laurie Simmons, Lee Bul, Liane Lang, Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Lothar Hempel, Marzel Dzama, Marilyn Minter, Matthew Ronay, Matthieu Laurette, Michelle Grabner, Mickalene Thomas, Monica Bonvicini, Pierre Leguillon, Pipilotti Rist, Rachel Harrison, Richard Kern, Ryan Gander, Scott King, Slater Bradley, Steve Miller, Sue Williams, Superflex, Suzanne Treister, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Walead Beshty, Zoe Strauss and others.
We are equally excited by the enthusiastic response from the most established of artists who are going back to their decades old paper archives, as by the youngest who are sending us their most recent links.
We understand it takes time to search through your archives so there is no immediate deadline. Just let us know if you are interested and we will wait for your contribution.
Simina Neagu, and independent researcher is now also on board to help source paper originals or assists with helping to find your long lost reviews. If you only have a few pointers or a vague memory, she will help with the library research.
Everyone who has great material to add is welcome. Please spread the word.