Arts Regina On Jen On SBC, Take 55
posted by June 29 at 11:04 AMon
It’s always good entertainment when critics get passionate about something they haven’t seen. Rudy Giuliani, meet Regina Hackett. She’s your kind of girl.
The truth is, on a deep level, critics love criticism. And Regina keeps it coming to me.
This time, she’s so irritated with me for panning SuttonBeresCuller’s recent performance—which happened while she was out of town—that she takes the opportunity to slam me (once again) on her blog. (My review of the performance first appeared in longer form on Slog.)
First, she says, I don’t know criticism from insults. This from the critic who wrote, in direct retort to Sheila Farr (who’d gotten an exclusive preview and written an incisive review of Paul Allen’s art collection that made Regina’s review look late and weak in comparison): “Those who think the container cancels out the pleasures of the art contained need a checkup from the neck up.” That sentence still cracks me up.
(My other favorite Hackettism was her blog post about my being wrong in my criticism of SBC’s boat in the biennial at Tacoma Art Museum. She cited the responses of local critics to the work—questioning the credibility of one of those critics along the way—and decided that the vote was in: 2 out of 3 critics say the boat is good, so it must be! Take that, Graves!)
In this latest case, it’s not just that I don’t know from criticism. It’s also that I don’t know from genius. Because I question the quality of recent work by SBC, I would also have hated John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and Morris Graves back when they were enlivening Seattle. Because—to quote once again from the review Regina wrote in 2005—John Sutton, Ben Beres, and Zac Culler are the reincarnation of Cage, Cunningham, and Graves.
Welcome back, Regina. I could spend all day trading barbs with you, it’s so much fun. But I have to get back to the business of criticizing art rather than another critic—until next time, that is. See you on the flip side of another battle, lady.