Simon Critchley is a renowned scholar and philosopher who is (among other highly notable positions) the Chair and Professor of Philosophy at The New School, the series moderator for The New York Times philosophy column “The Stone”, and the editor of the How to Read… series published by esteemed academic publishers W. W. Norton that provides introductory material on thinkers from Darwin to Shakespeare to Marx.

Critchley’s lecture details some of the reasons why the glamour, celebrity, business, and radiant superficiality abundant in this field breeds such a strong response, and for good reason. Focusing in particular on the work, especially the films of French artist Philippe Parreno, the talk lists some of the reasons it is easy to hate contemporary art in gruesome detail, but also provides at least one good reason why we should love it.


The suggested reading list includes various reading and media recommendations provided by the lecturer. This list of materials can include projects authored by the lecturer or others, and provides further insight into the guest’s sources of inspiration and additional context surrounding the artist/scholar/designer’s work and practice. This list is shared with RMCAD students and faculty and is archived on the website for academic integration and research opportunities. The physical materials are archived in the RMCAD campus library and the VASD Program archive.

Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance (Radical Thinkers) by Simon Critchley
Book – 2013

Impossible Objects (Interviews by Simon Critchley) by Simon Critchley
Book – 2011

The Mattering of Matter: Documents from the Archive of the International Necronautical Society by Simon Critchley and Tom McCarthy
Book – 2013

Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait by Douglas Gordon
Film – 2008

Philippe Parreno: Films 1987-2010: Serpentine Gallery by Karen Marta
Book – 2011

Philippe Parreno  by Simon Critchley
Book – 2009