Sonja van der Valk

Sonja van der Valk started her career as the editor of Toneel Theatraal theatre journal. She is a former journalist and theatre critic for De Groene Amsterdammer. Several publications devoted to art and art criticism were realized under her supervision, including Wie zou ik zijn als ik zijn kon, (Who Would I Be If I Could Be?; Vrouwen en Theater 1975-1998 (Women and Theatre 1975-1998); Ach dat doe ik wel even - de verborgen werking van sekse in de kunstwereld (Oh Let Me Do That- The Hidden Role of Gender in the Art World); and Het ligt in uw handen – de rol van de toeschouwer in hedendaags theater (It's in Your Hands – The Role of the Spectator in Contemporary Theatre). Sonja initiated the interdisciplinary project Carrières of barrières in de kunsten  (Careers or Barriers in the Arts, and has participated in numerous committees. She teaches at the Amsterdam University of the Arts, initiated the Domein voor Kunstkritiek (Domain for Art Criticism) and works at Theater Instituut Nederland (TIN).

Investigation into the foundation of an interdisciplinary centre of excellence for art criticism (from 2005)
A recurrent and perturbing theme in the ongoing debate on art criticism is the gulf between the criteria employed for assessment and an art practice that long ago discarded the modernist canon. This investigation develops on the expertise gained through the successful pilot project, A new generation of cultural journalists. It seeks to gain an overview of the various positions taken and practices employed in contemporary art criticism. Wherever possible, and using foreign training centres as reference points, observations will be translated into practical proposals for a school of art criticism.

selected publications

'Een centrum voor kunstkritiek', by Sonja van der Valk in: De theatermaker als onderzoeker, Amsterdam University Press, 2006