Critical Run (art)
Critical Run is an art format developed by Thierry Geoffroy / Colonel. A critical run consists of a group of participants debating whilst running. The aim of a critical run is to debate so-called "emergency topics" - problems and issues the world faces at the present time (the time at which the critical run is taking place) often focusing on topics that are hard to address and unpleasant to acknowledge. Such topics include climate change, xenophobia, wars, hypocrisy, and apathy, and can be very challenging within the context of the host city. The format has often been activated in correlation with the exhibiting of Geoffroy's Emergency Room, an art format where Geoffroy invites artists to respond to the news of the day with ultracontemporary art. Each run lasts roughly 25 minutes and is set at a pace accessible for all fitness levels.
The point of a critical run is to activate the awareness muscle (a metaphorical muscle embedded within Geoffroy's central art philosophy); through debating and running, the participants are asked to consider their positions on critical topics and defend or expand their perspectives, the physical activity component is an expression of a metaphor. The running metaphorically showing the haste needed to deal with these topics, while also eliminating barriers the participants might otherwise build between themselves and the debate, often increasing the honesty with which they express their opinions.
Critical run has been activated in Beijing, New York City, Cairo, London, Istanbul, Athens, Kassel, Sao Paolo, Hanoi, Istanbul, Paris, Copenhagen, Moskow, Napoli, Sydney, Wroclaw, Bruxelles, Rotterdam, Siberia, Karlsruhe, Barcelona, Aalborg, Venice, Virginia, Stockholm, Aarhus, Rio de Janeiro, Budapest, Washington, Lyon, Havana, Prague, Caracas, Trondheim, Berlin, Toronto, Hannover, The Hague, Newtown, Cartagena, Tallinn, Herning, Roskilde and more, for over a decade. The Critical Run format has been activated on invitation from institutions such as Moderna Museet Stockholm, Moma PS1, Witte de With Rotterdam, ZKM Karlsruhe, the Liverpool Biennale, Sprengel Museum Hannover, Museum Villa Stuck in Munich and the Venice Biennale amongst others.  The critical run in Munich was conducted between the museum director Michael Buhrs and Geoffroy via instagram live due to travel restrictions and quarantine measures during the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak in 2020.
The format has also spontaneously been activated and can be activated without the artist present, through an agreement with the artist, ensuring the run is in keeping with the art format rules. There have been debates on over 100 topics worldwide. Participants are extremely diverse and have been from varied backgrounds and have included Swedish art critics, German police, American climate activists, Olympians, Chinese Gallerists, Brazilian students and many others.
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- Baden, Sebastian (2014-08-23), ""Occupy-Wall Street", "Ocularpation: Wall Street" und "Emergency Room"", Kunst und Öffentlichkeit, Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, pp. 113–141, doi:10.1007/978-3-658-01834-4_7, ISBN 978-3-658-01833-7
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