Art vs. Evidence. Can there even be a point in debating the question? Art is knowable immediately, without recourse to systems of classification, forensic identification, credibility of testimony or any consideration of motive. Art's impact is direct: the senses have been hit, before the mind can say by what. The mind can of course then resort to contextual structures - can place the Art within a conceptual framework that helps to explain its meaning, or within a theoretical paradigm that attempts to dissect the means by which its effects were achieved. But these are all concerns after-the-fact. Criticism is ultimately a form of artistic expression in its own right, but it is a secondary and dependent form. Criticism cannot justify art; Criticism comes after Art and attempts to justify itself. Where Art kills, Criticism is itself neither murder nor weapon, but autopsy.
But all of this does not mean that Evidence has nothing to say to Art! Or that Art has nothing to say to Evidence. The very Question Of Evidence has a critical role to play in the development and understanding of artistic themes within a progressive culture. For while Art is not beholden to Evidence, Art itself leaves its own clue upon the scene: once the mind of the engaged observer has
You know what, I don't know where the fuck I'm going with this. Or even particularly, why I started out. Just typing merrily along!
I can't blame myself too hard when that happens. Half the time I get all the way to the end of one of these extemporaneous posts, only to read it through and find it makes perfect sense. So while occasionally it doesn't work out, it has to be considered: worth the risk.
Art vs. Evidence. There it is.