I was reading this article about Glenn Greenwald and the Edward Snowden NSA leaks and about how the mainstream press have become (or maybe always were, without our noticing) so timid and obsequious about criticising the establishment, when I began to realise this is exactly the state of art criticism currently. No one wants to rock the boat because they're too afraid it will wreck their career. The stakes have become that high and vicious.You slight them, in the course of perfectly respectable criticism, and they will have their revenge.
According to old David Sylvester, they were that way, even back in the 50s, when he was offered a place in the British art establishment (which sounds a bit paranoid- but he then goes on to cite the names and offices involved - he was not delusional by any means) and initially turned it down because he thought they all too thick, basically. Back then it was art criticism just making noises like art criticism. Sadly, in 60 years not much has changed. If anything, all the web options have only increased the awareness of power and influence.
After a while it starts to seem like the same thing: not that Glenn Greenwald is an art critic, obviously. But what he was up against in publishing Snowden's leaks is the same kind of institutional oppression - or let's be bolder and call it terrorism, since it rules by fear and implicit threat. This is how the art world runs now, with so many more museums, fairs and biennales and other regular curatorial junkets and it all feeds on paperwork - mentions in the right journals, the right institutions, the right 'authorities'. It's all very right leaning. A wrong word spoken or published and you're threatening someone's meal ticket.
Yes you do get paranoid thinking these things, but that doesn't mean you're not being persecuted.