Towards a shared understanding

A study of the intersubjective management of critique between an artist and a critic


  • Sara Rönnqvist Helsingfors universitet


arviointi, intersubjektiivisuus, episteemisyys, toimijuus, multimodaalinen vuorovaikutus


This article scrutinizes the trajectory of an evaluation of the visual appearance of an artistic installation, during a conversation between a visual artist and a critic. The study analyzes how the artist receives and responds to the critic’s evaluations of the artwork in three different phases of evaluative discourse: an initial, an elaborating, and a concluding one. The artist’s responses change from minimal responses and hypothetical solutions, via repeating utterances, to overt agreements and outspoken explanations. The development of the artist’s response to the critic’s evaluations reflects an increase in the participants’ shared intersubjective understanding and in the artist’s strengthened epistemic position: the critique can be accepted only after the artist has gone through interactional phases that lead up to an appreciation of the critique that thus can be commented on and partly transformed.