Monday, April 29, 2013

Criticism Of Criticism: What do you see?

Look at this image very closely. Observe it and analyze it. Now, tell me, what to do you see?
Do you see a young woman? Do you see an old hag? Do you see something else? Why am I even bringing this up?
This optical illusion helps to demonstrate what art critics set out to do.
Let’s assume that when you look at this picture you see the old hag. A critic would ask, do you only see the old hag? Do you see more? Look at it from this angle, notice the structure of her jaw or the way her face bends. Now do you notice that it could be a young woman?
When it comes to this illusion, there is no right answer. It is neither an old hag or a young woman, yet both at the same time. It all depends on the person looking at it and how they interpret it. 
What a critic would do with something like this is to point out how there is more than one way to notice it. How to look at something from a different angle, to step back for a second and think of something in a different way than you normally would. To at least give yourself the possibility of seeing it from that new angle, and see where everyone else who doesn’t agree with you is coming from.

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