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Coach Communications & Promotion

Writing about Art

Natascha Niederstrass talking about her exhibition at Circa, "Behind Closed Doors : Body Of Evidence", to students from Michelle Sullivan's course, Current Trends in Digital Communication at McGill

Natascha Niederstrass talking about her exhibition at Circa, "Behind Closed Doors : Body Of Evidence", to students from Michelle Sullivan's course, Current Trends in Digital Communication at McGill

It’s funny to try to say how to do anything, especially writing, when it’s so close to thinking and personal to each individual. Can we talk about « facts » in the arts or is it all a matter of subjectivity?

The first advice that comes to mind is to be aware of how phony we can sound when writing about art. We easily fall in traps like being complacent « this magnificent work from a true master enchanting the senses … » or being overly critical « no substance, nothing to see or experience, dry presentation … ». In both scenarios, not much is being said about the actual work, it’s just mumbo jumbo.

Then again, it might not be so constructive to remind anyone of that, for the most common issue might be writer’s block. So forget what I just said.

Old school

My first « real » advice would be to just write (you can edit and rewrite later). That’s right, don’t think about writing, just do it. Sit down, with something to write – like a pen – and something to write on – like paper – and go at it. Writing with a pen and paper is a practice that seems to activate different parts of the brain, in a more creatively flowing way, then writing on a laptop. The brain connections to the hand might be different. It could be that it doesn’t make a difference for you. In any case, write in any fashion that suits you best.

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