Ladd | Pittsburgh City Paper

Ladd 
Member since Mar 5, 2008


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Re: “At Space, Hot Metal puts the thermometer through its paces

Personally, I never said the review wasn’t about art and I don’t even have a problem with a review being negative. In fact, I like it when a reviewer has interesting criticism about the subject being reviewed, and if they voice their disapproval, then that only seems to lend validity to the positive words they have to say. Regardless of any insight Lissa Brennan may or may not have shared about the art, I took exception to her tone and her choice of things she chose to critcise, particularly the content in the second half of the article. Sure, a lack of information is a valid complaint but why connect it to the fire? I think a better way to address the issue would have been to write the review, and then at the end of the article write a brief note, perhaps in italics, telling what happened and how people could help. And no, Bill, she didn’t write that “’a sentence per artist, and a paragraph from the curator’ would have been sufficient”, but rather that it would be a “good start,” and that she wanted something between “a sentence” and a “five-page statement.” Here again we see this flippant sarcasm, and when it’s related to someone’s house and studio burning it is VERY offensive. Bill, never in this article is the attendant described as “especially rude” as you seem to think he was (admittedly, without having been there), which might have been understandably a point worth criticizing, but rather he is described as “useless” and failing to make eye contact. There is nothing in that whole paragraph (3 sentences, partially in parentheses- not just the two parenthetical sentence as you maintain it is) that is constructive or intelligent. The attendant is accused of being reticent, but Lissa Brennan is the only one exhibiting any rudeness in this article. Over and over these statements are criticized here for coming across as childish, a point you fail to address. Instead, you reiterate how valid they are. Do you also think it is cool to make fun of the clothes or attitude of someone taking money for admission at a rock show? Would you want your reviewers taking potshots at say, Manny Theiner or Joel from the 31st St. Pub (who work not just as staff, but as promoters and venue managers)? Would you consider it “pertinent” to make fun of Manny’s shoes or Joel’s tattoos? I don’t think you would. When people read a review of a play, they really just want to read about the performance, not whether the usher was short with them. Perhaps through defending the validity of L. Brennan’s statements you are actually defending your editorial abilities, or in this case a lapse thereof. A notion reinforced by the fact that Brennan’s article, and the flaws it contains, are being defended by you rather than her.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by cronin on 03/08/2008 at 3:41 PM

Re: “At Space, Hot Metal puts the thermometer through its paces

"Hot Metal...is only half true." That statement, and most of this article, is wholly trite. If the "simple question" Lissa Brennan asked the attendant was anything like her article, then it probably came across rather snarky, and so who could blame this person for not wanting to pander to her? This review starts off being about the show but by the end it seems to be about how the author was having a bad day and didn't get the information and attention she wanted handed to her. Rather than offer interesting criticism, she makes snide personal attacks on the attendant. In a newspaper. It seems neither professional nor creative. I mean "Emo"? What is this, 1999? The worst though is when she makes an obligatory nod to the Parrish's misfortune (THEIR HOUSE AND STUDIO BURNED DOWN), and totally negates any sincerity she might have conveyed by saying that it (the fire) doesn't excuse the lack of "at least sentence per artist, and a paragraph from the curator." Which is it: are you sympathetic to their situation or do you think it isn't an excuse for the lack of reading materials provided to you at this gallery? (and why even correlate the two, for that matter) I've been to this show a number of times and I don't understand what aspect needs explained or what theme needs to be delineated. By the end of the article, it isn't clear what she wanted other than, apparently, a chance to complain. About some dude at an art gallery who didn't make eye contact with her? Who cares? And Allison, if I go to a restaurant with bad service and good food, I don't leave "completely turned off." Maybe that's because I've worked as a waiter before, or maybe it's because I am fortunate enough to have the good sense not to let a little thing like that detract from my enjoyment of a quality experience. Especially if I've paid for it. Although in the case of Space Gallery, admission is free, and so is the spring water in the cooler towards the back. So please people, quit the whining, and don't sweat the little things.

Posted by cronin on 03/05/2008 at 7:23 PM

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