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Thread: Viewing work that we don't understand or don't like

  1. #1

    Default Viewing work that we don't understand or don't like

    I hear people dismissing a lot of art most of the time due to the way a piece seems difficult, and I thought that the below quotes from an old article made very strong points about how this idea of how our preconceived notions of what is supposed to be good or what is supposed to be art tends to work against our appreciation of work

    something to share.

    "Our approach to works of art has been based on certain assumptions about the nature of art. One of these assumptions has been that art creates order from the chaos of experience; it is presumed that our understanding of a work of art is equivalent to our grasp of the formal or conceptual order inherent in it....Such an art deprives us of the fufillment of our aesthetic expectations and offers, instead, an experience which cannot be anticipated nor immediately understood. By negating prior orientations, our personal aesthetic values are also challenge. If, then, no preconceived order reveals itself to our scrutiny, we must ask if there are other ways in which a work of art can be meaningful."

    "By divorcing art from an established value system in which order is inherent, new concerns with time, gesture, materials and attitudes take precedence."

    "another possible function of this kind of art is......'not to illustrate a truth- or even an interrogation- known in advance, but to bring into the world certain interrogations (and also, perhaps, in time, certain answers) not yet known as such to themselves"

    "When our aesthetic norms are challenged, the factor of negation may appear more obvious to us at first than the significance of the challenge. In time, the most severely criticized characteristics of these new works may ultimately prove to be their strength"

    Marcia Tucker, "Anti-Illusion: Procedures/Materials" (1969)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Viewing work that we don't understand or don't like

    Like it or not, most people here would like to think that they are trying to make art, to be creative.

    "make art'
    "creative"
    "my point of view", etc.

    The fact is that a preconceived idea of what art is and should be, is one big hindrance to creativity. To seek to be creative, but with fettered conccepts, is to seek the impossible. Most of us approach art with what the art should be, according to oneself - what Tucker referred to as "established value system". It is in the challenge of this established value system that creative ways of seeing might emerge.

    Another point which Tucker referred to is "illustrating truth" - making a picture of a person so that the person says "this is a good image of me". While this has its role as documentation, it is far from "Art" or "function of art" , which Tucker called "interogations". Asking questions, "What am I seeing in this person"? And then putting the answers to those questions in the form of art - be ot photography, painting, sculpture, poetry etc.

    Which some others called "making your own biography about the subject under consideration".

  3. #3

    Default Re: Viewing work that we don't understand or don't like

    yup, of course this is just one viewpoint of art...the Modernist view of art as opposed to the Renaissance of art go against each other but that does not reduce the worth of either...
    a problem of course is to figure out how clear and free from hinderance and influence our views are even when we try to go against the established value system

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Viewing work that we don't understand or don't like

    Quote Originally Posted by mattlock View Post
    a problem of course is to figure out how clear and free from hinderance and influence our views are even when we try to go against the established value system
    a person's ego is constructed based on his/her alignment of himself/herself with respect to his/her environment. the environment is a product of predominantly established value systems, but also consist of anti-establishment contents, sometimes called the uncanny. i think everything works in relation to one another, so it's impossible to be free from hindrance and influence.

    to react one needs first to be affected. whether the reaction further confirms the status of the established or takes the established as a point for opposition is in my view less important than whether we are still capable of being affected.

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