“Art criticism is not a mirror to hold up to the art world, but a hammer with which to shape it”
Shower of Kunst
Shower of Kunst is an arts criticism journal founded in 2009. We believe in developing a strong and healthy discourse and community.
Originally formed through recognising the vacuum that exists in Irish visual arts writing, our goal is now to challenge the prevalent mode of art writing internationally.
We place a strong emphasis on the political and embrace an approach to reviewing that is more akin to the academic critique. We are not interested in the default position of arts writing as essentially advertising copy for the artist and gallery, i.e. the conventional positive read of the artists intentions dressed loosely in philosophy. But instead offer a candid gaze that asks questions and makes suggestions.
Responsibility for the information and views set out in this website lies entirely with the author(s).
Our choice of name has come up a few times…
Q: This website is called Shower of Kunst? A clear play on one of the most derogatory and sexist words in the English language?
A: We think you’ll find that Kunst is not a play on a word in the English Language, but a very real word in German, Danish, and Dutch, et al. It means Art. Shower is an English word. We think you know what it means. However, ‘Shower’ is used in Ireland to describe a group of people. We understand it can all be very confusing because Kunst sounds like a very bad word in English.
Shower of Kunst was chosen for a few reasons. Firstly, it places this project as starting in Ireland, as it is a play off of an uncouth, yet very local expression.
Secondly, the meaning of this uncouth expression is usually used when being offended or annoyed by a group of people. We see our job as laying a certain amount of discomfort in people’s way with honest and hard hitting reviews. This annoyance we may cause is probably the whole point of what we do.
Finally, the play off this Irish expression subverts and reclaims it from the offensive, while reminding us of its origins. When taken literally in this subverted form it reads as a sort of envelopment in art. We like that.
Editor: Jim Ricks
Contact: showerofkunst [at] gmail [dot] com