Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Art Must Inspire

Art must inspire, and to do that, it must not shut us out. A work of art too too pristine, a work of art set above, set beyond reach or grasp, fails of its primary purpose! Art cannot be set apart and live. Art walled off from the viewer, art deified, glorified, with a barrier of mystique between it and us, can no longer provide a purchase for our thoughts, ideas, and emotions to settle upon, sink into, and bloom forth in new forms. Art that intimidates courts not immortality, but sterility.

I refuse to allow art to intimidate me. Occasionally, in recognition of this principle, I'm forced to take art down a peg or two. Some sculpture thinks it can stand there all incomprehensible and aloof, like it's above me? Like it's better than me? Sorry bud - that pedestal of yours looks a little shaky to me, for you to be copping an attitude all haughty like that. You might want to look into that before you look me all askance, just a friendly tip. Because I will knock you the hell over if I have to! Bet that'd wipe the twisted, abstract expression off your face, or the portion of you jutting out to the side that I'd interpret as a face!

Look. I've been thrown out of several museums, but the point had to be made. We cannot let art push us around. Art must inspire. Or, you know...else.

It's as simple as that, art. Next move's yours.


limom said...

Pet peeve: Art with titles that are difficult to connect.
I dislike when the artist tries to get cute and title their work with something esoteric or only they understand. What's the point?
Alienate your audience why don't you. Make them feel stupid for not getting your message. Worse yet, leave them guessing?
I really really really hate that shit.
Don't get me wrong. Abstraction and ambiguity are great but are two different things when the titles are "untitled" and "just something I made up cause I wanted to sound clever."
The latter does not inspire.
and damn. I had to look up ambiguity.

dogimo said...

The titles I like best are those that are evocative without being too specific.

I think it's my long-term love of New Order that got me over my initial dislike of seemingly random titles. That irked me for the longest time with them. Eventually I kind of started to like it, and sometimes that carries over to art titling as well. But mostly I think it's just an exemption for New Order.

I have a strong dislike for variations on "untitled," as a title for a work. I think it's too precious, as if the artist is saying: "my work is entirely a visual or plastic work, its medium is sight and not language! I refuse to modify or limit this by superimposing some alien, arbitrary nonvisual 'literary' content i.e. a title!"

It's clearly a prick stance. Albeit, hard to argue with, when it's stated so strong and bold.

I can understand an artist not wanting to use a title that imposes limitations on how the work can be interpreted, but come on. You can come up with something.