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Does art take away from life?

 
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 11:18 am
I forget, it was probably Marx who commented that the more qualities humans give to their god, the more they take away from themselves, their own lives. Or was it Nietzsche?
Anyway, in any sense, does Art do the same? I should guess some postmodernists should say so, but I haven't read any.
Does designating special areas where we can consider form, sensuality, irrationality, or in a more cognative sense, the interplay and layering of various concepts, prevent us from interacting in this enjoyable manner with what we encounter in every day life?
Evidently setting up these 'zones' provoke this form of reaction. Yet, does it make a form of social construction whereby people feel that it is only within these zones that this form of action is 'legitimate'?

For example, in enjoying the form of, say a Barbara Hepworth sculpture in tate modern, my experience has 'authoritative' support which 'verifies' it. However, in finding a nice smooth stone on the beach and looking at it, touching it a bit, everything becomes subjective and tenuous, I am critical of my own attention to the stone, I am aware of my enjoyment of it, but there seems no further 'purpose'- I am not tied to the same web of human appreciation that I would be if this we're Hepworth's stone and I was meant to be having this reaction. If I tell the person I'm with about my enjoyment of the stone, they might think I'm a bit weird. If I tell the person I'm with about my enjoyment of the sculpture, they'll appreciate it as a valid reaction to an artwork. (Probably).

So, in the cannonical system that operates in western society, my primary feeling is that name tags and venues mainly offer us legitimacy, to enjoy our own cognitive/sensory perceptions. Yet, obviously, this comes with a sense of pressure that we have to react to these items and names in this way, otherwise we don't 'get it'. Hence, the majority of people walking round art galleries are probably just pretending. I know I've pretended a bit, we probably all have.
But anyway, my main question is- by this segregation, are we taking away from the legitimacy of our own basic human aesthetic reactions to the world? Can we liberate sensuality?

I haven't 'gone off' art. I just feel like I don't need it anymore, whereas maybe, when I was younger, I used to.
Or rather, I am reviewing why I ever needed it.
 
tsarstepan
 
  4  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 12:05 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Quote:
Yet, obviously, this comes with a sense of pressure that we have to react to these items and names in this way, otherwise we don't 'get it'. Hence, the majority of people walking round art galleries are probably just pretending. I know I've pretended a bit, we probably all have.

I take minor offense to this generalization.

Quote:
Does designating special areas where we can consider form, sensuality, irrationality, or in a more cognative sense, the interplay and layering of various concepts, prevent us from interacting in this enjoyable manner with what we encounter in every day life?

Sorry but this is utter nonsense. If one can't appreciate the art and aesthetics of the feather pattern on the average chickadee then that's their loss. Don't blame the MET or MFA of Boston on this alleged aesthetic anesthetization of the common folk's lack of your personal definition of what makes art and/or beauty.

Quote:
But anyway, my main question is- by this segregation, are we taking away from the legitimacy of our own basic human aesthetic reactions to the world?

Stuff and nonsense. Don't blame the institutions of culture for the lazy and apathetic sensibilities of the common man. The institutionalization of art, culture, and history is not to blame for the common populations gluttonous frenzy of their 3000+ calorie a day pop culture diet.
mushypancakes
 
  4  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 12:26 pm

Intellectualizing too much can take away from life. IMO.

Artists wouldn't be able to make a good living without pretension and exclusivity in the world. It takes nothing away unless the individual decides to let it - by buying into other people's intellectualizing and bsing.

Then again, bsing via the intellect is one of the great pleasures of life too. Smile

Just look at the great minds on this board. Lots of them could spin a stone and you wouldn't even know it until after you bought into it. lol.

There is something to be said for being able to hold space in your mind. I feel that and know that more and more as the years go on. Makes life easier to enjoy regardless of the material of it (or lack).
ossobuco
 
  4  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 12:55 pm
No validation necessary, never has been for me. I've always liked what I like in art galleries and in daily life, although what I am interested in may change. I do tend to view a gallery or museum in my own fashion - quick scan of a room, going to look harder at the piece that attracts me first, looking around more slowly, reacting, then looking back at the first piece, then moving onto the next room(s) in the same manner, then going over the whole exhibit again, revisiting, and sometimes finding a piece I had overlooked and now am far more interested in than that very first one I went over to. I don't really care what the exhibit catalog says except that it may point out something I missed. It's a kind of visual swim for me or a visual dance.

When I do read reviews (etc.) I may learn about the backstory of the work and that may add to my appreciation or intensify my level of non-interest.

And daily life is a visual swim too. Patterns, intricacies, motion, color, depth, everywhere something going on to pull me into it. That people respond to life around them (and in them) with creativity (art) makes sense to me as a continuum.

ossobuco
 
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Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 01:09 pm
@ossobuco,
Anyway, no, for me art doesn't take away from life.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
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Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 01:23 pm
@mushypancakes,
Hello mushy, nice to see you.

What do you mean by "spin a stone"?

I never heard that expression.
plainoldme
 
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Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 01:48 pm
Actually, art is a need for me. When I have too much tension and too many deadlines to meet or have a problem that seems too large to solve, there are three things that will get me out of my funk. All are things I look at.

Warning: I am not being facetious.

The first is a field of grazing cows. Cows seem so steady and purposeful.

The second is an antique shop. If that piece of porcelain can survive, so can I!

The third is an art museum. I have favorite works in the two cities I lived in, Detroit and Boston, as well as favs in the cities I visited. I revisit my local favorites, the accessible ones but every time I go on a vacation, I always visit an art museum.
cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 05:58 pm
Art doesn´t take away from life. It adds a richness to humans that other living things can´t create or appreciate. I would also venture to say that the art in nature can be beautiful, but it takes the individual to look and appreciate it.

Some animals are capable to making sounds that others of its species can understand. Whether that can be considered art is unknown.
Pemerson
 
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Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 07:35 pm
I can't imagine life without art, anymore than I can imagine life without books, beauty in nature. The human is so attached to all these. The thought of a day without art, though, is so depressing.

I look at the art on my own walls, shelves, etc., often. Mostly, though maddening, I look at the two pieces that I painted myself, hanging or propped. And, every single time I look at them I imagine getting out my paint stuff and making all those corrections that I should have made years ago. Even if I know I'll make a mess of the entire thing, should I do that. Oh, what to do about that!

Pemerson
 
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Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 07:36 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Where have you been?
0 Replies
 
Shapeless
 
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Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 11:59 am
@tsarstepan,
Quote:
Don't blame the institutions of culture for the lazy and apathetic sensibilities of the common man.


I think blame is entirely justified in those cases where institutions of culture or artists themselves actively request the apathy of the common man. Arnold Schoenberg once said "If it is art, it is not for everyone; and if it is for everyone, it is not art." By and large Schoenberg has gotten his wish, if his importance (or lack thereof) to the general public is any indication. Art gets to maintain its isolation from the world at large since the common man's disregard for it is apparently a necessary component for that. Everyone wins, I guess.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
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Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 12:34 pm
@plainoldme,
plainoldme wrote:

Actually, art is a need for me. When I have too much tension and too many deadlines to meet or have a problem that seems too large to solve, there are three things that will get me out of my funk. All are things I look at.

...

The third is an art museum. I have favorite works in the two cities I lived in, Detroit and Boston, as well as favs in the cities I visited. I revisit my local favorites, the accessible ones but every time I go on a vacation, I always visit an art museum.

I understand and share your sentiment. Art is a form of spiritual salvation for me.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 12:47 pm
@Pemerson,
I know what you mean.. I have a lot of my own paintings up around my house. I'm critical but still enjoy them.
I took a lot of art classes in the early seventies and haven't stopped making art, usually paintings, since - although I'm not painting lately, I still paint in my mind, and there's a painting in progress on the easel waiting for me to engage.
Anyway, art and design are part of how I see and think.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
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Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 12:53 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Quote:
Does art take away from life?

I don't think so - it adds to mine immeasurably.
JLNobody
 
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Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 10:41 pm
@aidan,
Well put, Aidan. As Stendhal put it art is the promise of happiness.
ossobuco
 
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Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 12:21 am
@JLNobody,
Diane remarks to me once in a while in memory about the fun of walking new york (and galleries) with me.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 03:34 am
@mushypancakes,
Welcome back - again.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
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Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 06:32 am
i've always heard that life "imitates" art, but i think it actually "mocks" it

in a choice of art over life, i'll take art everyday, i spend most of my life in some kind of radio drama that plays out in my head (via podcast or imagination)
Ionus
 
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Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 06:44 am
I find in my life that people treat art, sex and food the same. When they have had enough of the basics they either get bored and cut back or look for the whips and cakes with whipped cream. From an art point of view, anyone who can stare at a mess a two year old could have made and decide what the artist meant has overfed on art and has become a fat arsed sex maniac glutton. Give me a sunset in the bush over spattered paint in an airconditioned room any day.
djjd62
 
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Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 06:48 am
@Ionus,
Ionus wrote:
Give me a sunset in the bush over spattered paint in an airconditioned room any day.


i still consider that art, it's just natural art
 

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