#25 beautiful/ugly

On the other side. What is criticism?

Why the talk is inspiring?

Seeking to understand the meaning of architectural criticism in a broader context, we begin the discussion with theatre, film, and literary critics’ discussions about criticism, its writing challenges, and its role in various artistic and cultural fields. What are the criteria for criticism? What is the relationship between the critic, the (art)work, and the audience? The discussion about cultural criticism will also map guidelines to reflect on the role of architectural criticism and the architectural critic.

Moderator: Karolis Vyšniauskas. Journalist for the Nanook journalists’ collective, editor of NYLA podcast.

The lecture will be held at MO museum (Pylimo g. 17, Vilnius). The start is at 20.00. The event is free.



Vaidas Jauniškis, Elžbieta Banytė, Monika Gimbutaitė, Karolis Vyšniauskas

How the speaker is exceptional?

Vaidas Jauniškis – a theater critic, reviewer who writes about theatre, culture, and cultural policy in various daily papers, magazines, and cultural weekly newspapers, and has published articles in “Verslo žinios,” “Kinas,” “Kultūros barai,” 15min, and theatre press abroad. From 1999 to 2004, he edited the journal „Teatras.“ He collaborates on the Arts Factory, a website designated to the performing arts, and teaches at the Academy of Lithuanian Music and Theater.


Žmogus be savybių

Robertas Musilis

Why the book is worth reading?

Robert Musil’s “The Man Without Qualities” is a fantasy about the relationships between human, nation, and culture, and an amazing analysis of the ways in which cultural policies occur in real life. Therefore the fantasy is especially close to life; one would want for it to be further. Distance is created if only by Musil’s smile – one of the best examples of subtle humour. According to parallel action that has been written about, public relations specialists can create hundreds of serious anniversary celebrations today – the mechanism is universal. Of course, for that, one must not have a sense of humour.

Recommends Vaidas Jauniškis


Uses of Literature

Rita Felski

Why the book is worth reading?

Humanities scholars, whether of literature, art critics or philosophers, often have to explain the necessity of their discipline, and sometimes even justify it. The pressure to explain why humanities studies are important falls on the shoulders of these scholars, who are rarely public figures: Rita Felski’s academic bestseller (it sounds strange, but it’s true), “Uses of Literature,” defends literature without taking up a strictly defensive position. It speaks to a wide audience – not just academics – and explains in an accessible way why literary studies and reading are necessary in general, not only for individuals who dedicate themselves to literature, but also for society at large that can listen to their voices and read their texts. One of the greatest appeals of this book is that serious considerations of literary theory are not separated from contemporary everyday situations and insights. Felski seeks (and in my opinion, succeeds) to fill a long-standing rift between strict, isolated, academic reading and simply comfortable lounging around in bed with a good book.

Recommends Elžbieta Banytė


Against Interpretation and Other Essays

Susan Sontag

Why the book is worth reading?

Susan Sontag’s collection of essays can sink criticism into deep sorrow. Sensory experience of a work of art is valued more than thoughtful dissecting of meanings, and the authors’ intellectual arsenal is not only astounding, but also forces one to put away one’s own weapons – since you will never write it better anyway. However, this collection can also offer a lot of joy. The joy of reading superbly constructed texts, entangling oneself in a inner discussion and raising an unexpected and what seems to be at first – “too broad” or “too abstract” question. This is a book which never ceases to terrify and empower me.

Recommends Monika Gimbutaitė