Skip to navigation Skip to main content

The Possibility of Critique


Within the framework of

Mudam’s Exchange Programme for Critical Thinking





Introducing Mudam’s Exchange Programme for Critical Thinking
Wednesday night conversation with Agnieszka Gratza, Mohammad Salemy and Pablo Larios

Today, the definitions of critique – as a philosophical stance, as a political practice and as a mental space allowing for an intellectual and social relationship to the arts – are determined by precarity, automation and the banalisation of its writing. What are the options for a practice that has, so far, played a decisive role in the evaluation and legitimation of the arts and their institutional, commercial and independent manifestations?

The answer is: Many.

As part of the search for sustainable intellectual production, the Mudam inaugurates its first Exchange Programme for Critical Thinking – a residency for visiting critics, to be launched in April 2023. Its first edition is drafted for critics – writers, artists, journalists – who are willing to write critical revisions, deepen reviews and contextualise companions to the exhibitions programme at Mudam. With this programme, the museum aims to be the first to take actions against the defunding of art critique, art writing and freelance journalism. The programme is organized between the departments for Communication & Engagement and Public Programmes, kicking off with a public panel at the Mudam Café with its first honourable guests:

Agnieszka Gratza, senior editor at Nero Editions, Pablo Larios, editor (ex-frieze, frieze d/e) and writer, and Mohammad Salemy, contributor of Ocula Magazine. The conversation will be moderated by María Inés Plaza Lazo, Head of Communication & Engagement at Mudam.

Agnieszka Gratza is a Rome-based writer and art critic. Her essays and writings about art, performance and film have appeared in various contemporary art magazines and newspapers, including Artforum, frieze, ArtReview, Metropolis M, Mousse, Flash Art, Sight & Sound, PAJ, The Guardian, the Observer and the Financial Times. Her more creative writing frequently stems from live art and performance. In the context of art and writing residencies, she has experimented with mail art, dream recall and sustained attention exercises; hosted salons; made edible artworks and explored swimming as a species of meditation and an aesthetic pursuit.

Pablo Larios is a Berlin-based writer, art critic and editor. He was born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and raised in the US. Trained in Comparative Literature, his work has appeared internationally in various publications, including Frieze d/e,, Sleek and Kaleidoscope, as well as catalogues, contributing essays on the works of Simon Denny and Aleksandra Domanović. Alongside his practice as an art critic and nonfiction writer, he has written fiction, poetry and plays and has made short films. With artist Ed Atkins he runs Plea, a small press for experimental fiction and poetry. Larios was editor-at-large at documenta fifteen.

Mohammad Salemy is a Berlin-based writer, art critic, and editor. Salemy has been a regular contributor to numerous exhibition catalogues, anthologies and journals. He holds a BFA from Emily Carr University and an MA in Critical and Curatorial Studies from the University of British Columbia. His writings have been published in e-flux, Flash Art, Third Rail, Brooklyn Rail, Ocula, Arts of the Working Class and Spike. In partnership with a changing cast of other artists, Salemy is also active in the artist collective Alphabet Collection. Since 2014, Salemy has been the Organiser of The New Centre for Research & Practice.

This is the first of three conversations that will take place across the year. The other two are:

Niches, networks, masses: The means of publishing
Summer | Mudam Café

Who is accountable for the reception of museums today?
Fall | Mudam Café

Portaits of Pablo Larios, Agnieszka Gratza (posing with a work by Mauricio Simon), and Mohammad Salemy. Courtesy of the author
Pablo Larios, Agnieszka Gratza (posing with a work by Mauricio Simon), and Mohammad Salemy
© Courtesy of the author