In a report on the “trials and tribulations of the international lecture circuit” in the new issue of Frieze, Yale Art & Architecture Dean Robert Storr writes that the most dependable but generally least lucrative art world gig is as a �visiting artist/critic�. “It usually involves showing up in a place starved of information and contact with the wider world, giving a public slide presentation, a seminar and studio critiques � interrupted by breakfast, lunch and dinner � with local faculty, patrons and eager young artists. It can be fun if one savours the eccentricities of people and places as I do, but it is gruelling nevertheless. If one does not enjoy being �out there� and, worse, if one is inclined to condescend to audiences assumed to be less sophisticated than those in big cities, then things can go very wrong. I have often been in the slipstream of certified Gotham players � the scold of a major daily paper, for example, or the gadfly of a glossy weekly � and listened to tales of their inattention to the hosts and their lazy performance of an overly familiar act, usually aggravated by glibness, snarkiness or outright arrogance. Roadshow hot-shots beware! Busy boom-towners flip through what you write and fear your power; out-of-towners read it and can quiz you on what you said and derisively repeat your shtick while ignoring the clout they�re sure you�ll never use to their advantage.
“Visiting artists who are welcome on the tour give good weight. Those who make a lasting impact give much more than expected. Plus, they have a sense of timing with regard to what they offer. I still remember Lynda Benglis at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, in the late 1970s ducking into virtually all of the studios after her lecture, and, a glass of Scotch in hand, spending most of the afternoon and much of the evening engaging one-on-one with every student who risked showing her their work. Nayland Blake did the same a few years later. Their insight and generosity changed lives.” Read the entire report here.