Critics

Roberta Smith Thinks of Herself as ‘Just Another Vote’

screen shot 2012 06 01 at 7 09 56 pm Roberta Smith Thinks of Herself as Just Another Vote

Roberta Smith. Still from “The Sweet Spot.” (Courtesy The New York Times)

We enjoyed this little video called “The Sweet Spot,” published by The New York Times today, in which culture columnist David Carr skewers film critic A.O. Scott for being a harsh critic and takes a brief respite by talking to Roberta Smith about the power of criticism to make or break careers.

In addition to our delight in hearing Mr. Scott defend himself by saying things like, “This is not a progressive kindergarten,” we enjoyed the interlude with Ms. Smith, around three minutes in.

“Too many artists whose work I’ve written negatively about have museum retrospectives and sell out gallery shows all the time,” said Ms. Smith, “for me to think I’m making or breaking careers. Everybody’s voting in one way or the other.” She mentions a few ways in which people cast their votes, including Twitter, declaiming “it’s a mess.” In relation to all these people casting their votes, in all these many ways, her own viewpoint, she says, becomes “just another vote.”

Sure thing, Ms. Smith. Though, we appreciate your humility.