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Thread: Philosophies

  1. #21

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    To follow up on what I said in a previous thread....

    Today I heard a prof talk about how "Artists like us" are "more educated than the general public."

    A pretty damn bold statement. And one I wholly disagree with.

    The second we start thinking that art must be produced "only by certain people", all is lost. More specifically there is a great irony in the fact that all the post-modernists running around laud the fact that post-modernism opened the art world up to "other voices", but now only "those who are educated in art" are considered worthy of having an opinion.

    Excuse me?

    You know my grandfather dropped out of school at the age of 12 to become a coopers apprentice in Scotland. He sought to help feed his siblings. He later emigrated to Canada and worked as a cook in logging camps and made his way to Tacoma, Wa. (big timber town at that time). He then managed to setup a VERY prosperous insurance business and did extremly well for himself. He taught his kids well and taught them how to think. Both went on to college, but learned the most from my grandfather.

    Who never went to highschool.

    By the standards of many, he would be WHOLLY unqualified to comment on much of anything by their standards! Definately not art, and if you follow the logic, neither could he comment on business, politics, etc.

    Keep in mind when he died, he was vastly more sucessful than the person making this statement is. And she is only a few years younger than he was when he passed away!

    Point being, we can't exclude anyone's opinion as long as it is based on some manner of thought (I exclude people who randomly comment on things they have no real idea about....and by this I mean many academics!).

    Can art be fun and just a lark for someone?

    Yes.

    Can it have deep meaning?

    Yes.

    Both are wholly valid, and wholly acceptable viewpoints.

    For Aggie art is
    I do photography becasue i enjoy it, and have fun.
    And you know what it works for her. I really like some of her work. I do. No deep meaning to it, just great images that I like.

    Conversly, I myself am doing a very political series at this moment. It is meant to carry a message. It is just as valid as Aggie's work.

    But it is NEVER more valid. NEVER. If I EVER say it is, then someone smack me! The only invalid work to me is work which is more about catering to the gallery crowd and making a huge statement with no thought into the piece. That is just mental masterbation.

    But nobody can say a work done just to fulfill a personal desire is less valid than a work rife with political meaning.

    And everyone who honestly enters into a conversation has a valid point to make. Education does not make you more or less qualified to offer an opinion.
    Official Photo.net Villain
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    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]

  2. #22
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Kennedy
    "Artists like us" are "more educated than the general public."
    That's not so much of a bold statement as it is blatant elitism.

  3. #23

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    I was being nice, but yes, you are right. It was also around the time that the discussion turned to a team of photographers whose name I can't recall right now who made elaborate sets and MASSIVE statements to "document the plight of the working class".

    The statements were very much based on semiotics and insanely hard to read and decipher.

    Apparently their goal was to convince "the elites" of what the plight of the "working class" was to facilitate change.

    Nobody was impressed when I questioned if this was a good idea, because if you want to make the CEOs and the stock holders understand something, it is usually a good idea to make it accessible. The fact is that 99.9999% of the people who COULD (or at least claim to) understand this dense text and obscure staging would NOT be the people who could do anything about it.

    Trust me, the CEOs are NOT taking survey classes in post-modern art.

    I love it when people call themselves "elite" and ignore their own impotence....

    I can see it now....

    "Joe, this is Sam Walton! You should immediately raise all pay and benefits because I just read a 27 page statement at a gallery opening which made me change my mind on how I am going to run this company!"

    :roll:
    Official Photo.net Villain
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    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]

  4. #24
    bjorke's Avatar
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    Well I guess Thomas Kinkade really is the best artist, then. Just because his audience isn't educated doesn't stop them from issuing their opinions, one Mastercard transaction at a time.

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
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  5. #25
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  6. #26
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    A few words about “postmodernism”.

    If I had to name the primary characteristic of “postmodernism” it would be fragmentation. Fragmentation of unities whether those unities are/were real or mystified.

    Some examples:

    1. The dissolution of the Soviet Union.
    2. The dissolution of the Bell System.
    3. Perhaps the dissolution of majorities (the election of Mr. Bush being the most obvious example).
    4. In philosophy: Friedrich Nietzsche’s madman’s proclamation that “God is dead.” questions the basis of a shared cultural belief in God (Christianity).
    5. In architecture: rebellion against “form follows function”, concrete and glass boxes and a move toward a juxtaposition of styles.
    6. In photography: the revival of alternative processes, the concept that photographs can be read, deconstructed (Susan Sontag), exploration of ethnic and gender (self-referential) issues and challenging “Modernism’s elitist and exclusive view of aesthetic formalism and the autonomy of art” (Linda Hutcheon).

    From my viewpoint “postmodernism” has certainly upset the apple cart, but I’d say it’s anti-elitism is very evident.

    JP

  7. #27

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    I still haven't read anything here that refutes my initial statement. Great music isn't always beautiful. Nor is great art nor are great ideas.

    Some of us may prefer our notions of great truth, ideas and art to follow certain expressions, expressions which are generally regarded as having a form of beauty.

    Not all of us share that sentiment, tho'. I'd hardly imagine that the paintings of Francis Bacon are generally regarded are beautiful; likewise much of the music of Filter.

    The Impressionists, Fauves and other movements that have become common currency in the beautiful art market have created something of a backlash, a demand for the less than beautiful and even the deliberately ugly.

    Understanding this paradox is among the most vital of all undertakings for any artist.
    Three degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.

  8. #28

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    Lex: " From my viewpoint “postmodernism” has certainly upset the apple cart, but I’d say it’s anti-elitism is very evident."
    A philosophy teacher of mine once said, "Are the tolerant, tolerant of the intolerant?" Likewise, there is no group more "elite" than the post-modernists. Just try having a discussion with them. Their "anti-elitism" is non-existent, despite whatever fine words they may put on it. Ask Robert Kennedy, who, unfortunately, must encounter them every day he is in school.

    Lex: "The Impressionists, Fauves and other movements that have become common currency in the beautiful art market have created something of a backlash, a demand for the less than beautiful and even the deliberately ugly.

    Understanding this paradox is among the most vital of all undertakings for any artist."

    Really? I always thought the most vital, in fact, the only vital, undertaking for an artist was to make her or his art. Silly me.

  9. #29

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    Personally I believe that creating art without understanding that truth and beauty are not synonymous is a waste of time and materials.
    Three degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.

  10. #30
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    I’ve met and talked to many people who in varying ways had things to say about “postmodernism” and in my turn agreed or disagreed with them. But so far I have not had anyone come up to me and say “Hi, I’m a Post-Modernist.” I’ve also met a few people who choose to cloak their opinion in absolutes, barricading themselves within a self-justified fortress of that opinion. After a while, I just smile politely and go on my way.

    I would suggest that “beauty is truth, truth beauty”, the Five Words Too Many is a mystification, but never the less their intention is to point to that which is beyond language, beyond Philosophy. As Ludwig Wittgenstein has said “It will often prove useful in philosophy to say to ourselves: naming something is like attaching a label to a thing.” So I would suggest that the Five Words is a label attached to something beyond the world of appearances by trying to name that thing. Wittgenstein also said “Where one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. I think this is pretty important because it implies that we ground ourselves in the world of appearances by a constant conversation with our selves (self and subject), but it is silence that I think is the most important element here. Within this silence all sorts of magical things can and do happen including great art, but at this point I would prefer not to call it Art.

    JP

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