During our class discussion on Taste and Value, we considered some fundamental questions about critique and how it is related to us. Art critics have a negative stereotype, but why is this? After all, we all participate in the dialog of criticism everyday. It envelops us. It exists in our thoughts and in our conversations. We elaborate on the dialog from an art critic (or source of art and find ourselves functioning as our own critics), thus bringing art out into our lives. Yet despite us critiquing inside and outside of the art world („Yelp!“), many still regard art critics (critics in general? The film „Ratatouille“ was mentioned in class…) as snobs. Perhaps it has something to do with the history of the field and the intensely academic writing style we come across.
We also discussed how vocabulary can shape and classify you. One’s vocabulary repertoire sheds light on if one is informed or not. The question was also raised as to where our personal taste comes from. Taste is naturally influenced by one’s social surroundings— the environment in which one lives/ was raised— as well as exposure in the world (experience in other cultures/ with other people), education and is also partially based on personality. The point in class was made that some of us have siblings with whom we were raised, yet the siblings have very different tastes! Of course, despite having been brought up under the same roof, we still live out other experiences, so one could argue against this. I actually think that it is precisely the personality that accentuates the differences amongst siblings despite the same upbringing, just like the difference amongst members of the same culture or sub culture.