In The Critic as Artist, Oscar Wilde suggests that the role of criticism is to make culture possible by distilling the cumbersome mass of creative works into a finer essence that not only makes them more apprehensible to people, but which also maps out new places to explore; however, he contends that criticism should try to overcome reductive explanations by taking an artwork as basis for new creations, which rather seek to deepen its mystery by revealing in it wonderful things that the artist never put there. I wish to discuss how we can apply this principle to contemporary modes of criticism that employ different materialities of communication to convey their messages: first, on a primary level, I intend to debate how we can better investigate our own impressions through an emancipation of form and language to produce essays that, albeit predominantly textual, aggregate imagery, artistry and even poetry to what would otherwise remain a prosaic, explanatory practice; second, on a more experimental level, I intend to debate how we can innovate in criticism by going beyond textuality and experimenting with intermediality, taking as example videographic essays that use text, image, sound and montage to bring forth informative contents thereby potentialized by aesthetic experiences that resist interpretation through meaning. Relying on cases of criticism that break away from reductive explanations of art—impressionistic essays that explore anew the tensions between reason, imagination and sensuality to convey more poignant perspectives through different materialities of communication—, I will present a simple genealogy that explains how we can innovate in criticism to improve it as an art in the appreciation of art, a creativity in the appreciation of creativity, a poetic practice that, as such, also seems to work as a more universal language to cultures constantly modified by technological advancements.
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