Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Art rarely succeeds when it sets out to fix anything beyond the artist’s own, subjective needs

Is self therapy a reason for taking to the arts?
Roberta Smith in a short essay in the back page of the Sunday Times art review made some assertions as regards art as a 'practice'.The assertions are as follows:
#1. First off, there’s the implication that artists, like lawyers, doctors and dentists, need a license to practice. Many artists already feel the need for a license: It’s called a master of fine arts. But artists don’t need licenses or certificates or permission to do their work. Their job description, if they have one, is to operate outside accepted limits.
#2. Second is the implication that an artist, like a doctor, lawyer or dentist, is trained to fix some external problem. Art rarely succeeds when it sets out to fix anything beyond the artist’s own, subjective needs.
#3. Practice sanitizes a very messy process. It suggests that art making is a kind of white-collar activity whose practitioners don’t get their hands dirty, either physically or emotionally. It converts art into a hygienic desk job and signals a basic discomfort with the physical mess as well as the unknowable, irrational side of art making. It suggests that materials are not the point of art at all — when they are, on some level, the only point.
While #1 and #3 are very much agreeable, I questioned #2 over at Art and Perception in a post yesterday. Link to the post here. Posted by Sunil at 11:39 PM 0 comments Labels:

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