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Cai Guo-Qiang making his gunpowder drawing, Bird of Light (2004), at Fireworks by Grucci in Brookhaven, N.Y.
Photo by Chris Smith
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by Ben Davis

It may feel a bit odd to return to the well-worn theme of the "crisis in criticism" at a time that is colloquially referred to as the "Worst Economic Crisis since the Great Depression." Ruminating on the relative merits of descriptive vs. prescriptive criticism while art critics are being unceremoniously shit-canned left and right would seem to be, you know, a bit of a tangent.