Introducing: Be A Critic’s Oliver Basciano

We are thrilled to announce that Art Review’s Oliver Basciano will be the first to lead our #BeACritic campaign.

Basciano, who has been Managing Editor at ArtReview for three years, will be commissioned to write a critical analysis of the Liverpool art scene for The Double Negative to be published around the opening of Biennial 2014 (5 July). He will also lead a masterclass for North-West-based aspiring critics later on this summer.

A London-based writer and critic, Basciano is also editor of Art Review’s annual Brazil focus, and has contributed to various other art and architecture magazines, exhibition catalogues and artist monographs. He sits on the board of trustees for The Woodmill Gallery and Studios, Bermondsey, London, and runs an irregular film programme at Project Native Informant.

The campaign #BeACritic (Thinking>Writing>Engaging) was launched in April by Liverpool John Moores University, The Double Negative and Arts Council England, in a move to encourage more critical discussion of the arts and develop vital writing skills.

“What art needs is an audience – a receptive one ready to interrogate, question, praise and criticise it”

Recruiting 15 aspiring writers in Round One (deadline now closed), successful applicants will partake in a masterclass with Basciano – exploring what it means to be critical, why it’s important, and the skills needed to be published — and then go on to write their own critiques, reviews and features throughout 2014. Each applicant will be paid £100 and have their work published here on TDN.

“There’s a lot of good to be found in art made away from the hubris of capital cities,” commented Basciano. “But what art needs is an audience – a receptive one ready to interrogate, question, praise and criticise it.

“If the #BeACritic programme can bring just one new voice, to investigate and speak up for the art being made in Liverpool, then that should be judged a success. I’m sure with an area as literary and vocal as Merseyside there will be many.”

Julie Sheldon, Acting Director of the Liverpool School of Art and Design, said: “We are delighted to be working with Oliver on this initiative. His appointment provides a unique opportunity for emerging art critics to learn from a leading professional. We hope that those critical skills of  reflection, discernment, and engagement will not only benefit aspiring critics but that it will develop and deepen the work of artists locally.”

Applicants are currently being shortlisted anonymously by Sheldon and TDN Editor Laura Robertson; the final 15 will be selected by Oliver Basciano and announced next week.

Film courtesy RecreativeUK

See our original callout here

Callout Round Two will commence January 2015, with a new batch of aspiring writers recruited and a new art critic to lead

Arts Council England

Posted on 15/05/2014 by thedoublenegative