Rotterdam Dialogues: The Critics


The speakers include an international spectrum of art critics, from as far afield as Manila, New York, Istanbul and Montreal, along with several voices from closer to home. Together they represent a range of media, from glossy art magazines, to online blogs and daily newspapers. Speakers from the world of academia will also be present, along with several artists who write. Rotterdam Dialogues: the Critics will reveal the people behind contemporary written art discourse, giving the public a chance to question their editorial decisions on what is offered to the reader, what is omitted and why.

The speakers include: Jennifer Allen (Artforum), Andrew Berardini (, Achille Bonito Oliva (art historian); Martijn Boven (8weekly), Matthew Collings (BBC), Ingrid Commandeur (Metropolis M), Diedrich Diederichsen (Prof.), Edo Dijksterhuis (Het Financieele Dagblad), Richard Dyer (Contemporary), Dominic Eichler (frieze), Isabelle Graw (Texte zur Kunst), Tim Griffin (Artforum), Melissa Gronlund (Afterall), Eva Karcher (Monopol, Vogue), Koen Kleijn (De Groene Amsterdammer), Sven Lütticken (Prof.), Niklas Maak (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), Sina Najafi (Cabinet), Tzu Nyen Ho (Art Asia Pacific), Chantal Pontbriand (Parachute), Dirk Pültau (De Witte Raaf), Mark Rappolt (ArtReview), Dieter Roelstraete (Afterall), Margriet Schavemaker (Prof.), Edgar Schmitz (Kunstforum International), Georg Schöllhammer (Springerin), Simon Sheikh (Prof.), Judy Freya Sibayan (Ctrl+P), Nick Stillman (Bomb), Richard Streitmatter-Tran (, Jordan Strom (The Fillip Review), Pelin Tan (Muhtelif), Eric Troncy (Frog), Jan Verwoert (frieze), Michal Wolinski (Piktogram.

Masterclass & Workshop

On Monday 13 October, 2 – 5 p.m. Tim Griffin (editor in chief of Artforum International) will give a masterclass for MA students and young professionals, exploring the notion of editorial authority. He will speak from his experience of editing an art magazine, answering questions about what being an editor entails and what it takes to run a contemporary art magazine.

Immediately prior to the symposium, and throughout the weekend, Melissa Gronlund (editor of Afterall) will give a closed workshop to a group of students from several Dutch universities. Examining different modes of art criticism, and the differences between criticism and the production of critical discourse, Gronlund guides the students in creating a section for the publication appearing at the end of the symposium series Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists. This is a closed workshop.


Elements of each symposia comprising Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists will be compiled in a publication to appear in mid 2009. It will feature contributions by many of the speakers, but also by invited observers and by participants in the workshop and masterclass.

Special events

Parallel to Rotterdam Dialogues: the Critics, Witte de With has scheduled three special events, which are also open to people not attending the symposium:

Thursday Oct 9, 6 p.m.:
Award ceremony for the Prize for Young Dutch Art Criticism, an initiative of Witte de With, The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (Fonds BKVB) and de Appel. Location: Zaal de Unie, Mauritsweg 34, Rotterdam (Language: Dutch),, free entry.

Friday Oct 10, 7:00 p.m.:
Book launch of Diedrich Diederichsen’s book On (Surplus) Value in Art, the first of the Reflections series published by Witte de With and Sternberg Press. Reception at Witte de With in the presence of the author, free entry.

Saturday Oct 11, 8:30 p.m.:
OFF the PAGE performance program and party at DSPS / DE PLAYER, Tolhuisstraat 107, Rotterdam. Entrance 6€, free entry to symposium ticket holders. See the program at

Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists is conceived by Zoë Gray, Nicolaus Schafhausen and Ariadne Urlus.


Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists is generously supported by the Mondriaan Foundation, VSBfonds and SNS REAAL Fonds.


  • Jennifer Allen, Andrew Berardini, Martijn Boven, Matthew Collings, Ingrid Commandeur, Diederich Diederichsen, Edo Dijksterhuis, Dominic Eichler, Isabelle Graw, Tim Griffin, Melissa Gronlund, Tzu Nyen Ho, Eva Karcher, Koen Kleijn, Sina Najafi, Dirk Pültau, Mark Rappolt, Dieter Roelstraete, Margriet Schavemaker, Edgar Schmitz, Simon Sheikh, Judy Freya Sibiyan, Nick Stillman, Richard Streitmatter Tran, Jordan Strom, Superflex, Pelin Tan, Jan Verwoert, Michal Wolinski

Related Items