Thursday, December 01, 2005

Ars Gratia Artis

The worst thing in the world, in my book, just after Erich Von Dainiken and gumbo.
Let me elaborate (as if you have a choice...):

Once upon a time, all art served a purpose. It was either there to show off the creator's technical aptitudes, or to pay tribute to gods or kings, to pass across some message, or just to entertain the public. And those were great times indeed. There were no "experts" deciding what was worthy of the title of "art", there was no elitism involved (unless you count skill-related and public acceptance-related contests among artists themselves) and there were no people around trying to prove they know their shite in a field where omniscience is impossible.

Until one day, can't really tell you the exact date and time, some Jo Aristocrat decided that, since he can't really do anything creative, and since he knows of a few people that can, it was his job and his alone to decide what's good and what's not. And he managed to convince several other people of the truth of his statements, or at least of his (and their) right to decide. And the more they manifested their beliefs and personal tastes, the more credit they gained, just because.

It's funny how people like to be told what to believe, what to like and what not to like, what to accept and what not to accept, even though they almost never admit it. This is the exact attitude that led to art of all kinds being mutated into a quasi-scientific field like mathematics. Which really doesn't make sense to me, let me tell you, since the basic premise of art is that its value should be in the eye of the beholder. What speaks to me, because of my personality, experiences, aesthetic taste and the mere fact that I noticed or dwelled upon something you didn't, doesn't necessarily speak to you, or your brother, or your teacher who's an "expert".

So now there's all these self-appointed artists around, who just do something, name it art, and thus rid themselves of any responsibility. Immediately, their creation is labelled "art" whereas in other cases it would have been ignored or despised by any given member of the public.

It's useless to apply the word "art" to anything that may seem interesting, provoking (aesthetically or intellectually) or beautiful to someone. Everything may mean something to someone, so it's unbearably wholistic. Admittedly, it's shorter to say "art" than to say "something someone somewhere found interesting", but why would one want to point something like that out, I wonder?


Atalante said...

I have to say "amen".

Bunny Dee said...

Thanks for reading, actually :) You're one of the select few ;)

I really love the fact that people reading my blog often agree with me... It seems that I judge the people I like by their ideas, first and foremost :D