At what point in contemporary art history did critical writing become so uncritical? Considering the zeitgeist, it is befuddling that complacency plagues most published exhibition reviews. These are the times that call for critical reviews that take a bite out of crime: the crime of banality, the crime of self-satisfaction, the crime of fear—the fear of being ostracized for breaking unspoken rules of the art game. In 1966, Robert Smithson penned one such review, fearlessly critiquing the work of his peers Robert Rauschenberg and John Cage, among others. We have recently republished Smithson’s review of the show “9 evenings: Theatre and Engineering” and in the future we’ll be publishing more of those reviews worth re-viewing in a new section called “Rearview.
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