Thursday, 22 October 2009

Re-presenting – some kind of conclusion

My fascination over ‘What is Art’

Rachel Eliza Guthrie


Art must be visual. It may be acoustic, and aromatic, textured and perhaps even flavoursome or moreover appeal to all our senses; but the power of art is in the visual. Art is what you can see. Yet it is not everything you can see. Art can include text, but words are not the stars of this show.  Returning to my very first itch of this discussion – the things pinning me down and restricting me from admiring all that is contemporary about/in art – is words. I refuse to praise art that cannot stand-alone and speak for itself. There is great power in art, but some modern artists are not releasing it. They are relying on explanations to engage their audience. For someone who loves the possibilities available to us in language, this should surprise you that I am willing to conclude this. Yet I refuse to claim virtuously and hyperbolically that everything is art so here I must draw the line. Art is visual, and is not text. Good art is inspiring, provoking, gripping, engaging or to cover all possibilities: generally pleasing to somebody, if it does not rely on lexemes. Especially not well-phrased philosophies, or dramatized speeches.


We are not discussing ‘the arts’ or ‘the art of cooking.’ The Arts is a way of grouping avenues of creativity, which are not necessarily visual. I have no doubt that poetry is an art, but it is not art. I do not quite understand who thought it would be good to have art as both a singular specific (I do believe, as I have argued, we must be specific about art and what it is) and a plural, non-specific, because it only provides confusion. It is interesting to consider why it is that the visual arts took on the title of art itself – I’m not quite going to suggest the visual arts are the best of the disciplines…! There is an art to cooking, like there is an art to writing. These again use the indefinite article ‘an’ rather than the definite ‘the’ of which the art I am discussing is.


From each measure – I have personally argued and concluded that: art is created by artists and designers because artists and designers compose pieces that have the purpose of being art – pieces which are of their own kind of beauty and are to be displayed.  Art is unique in number. The speciality of art is it relative rarity.


Here I will willingly let you disagree. 

1 comment:

  1. My work ‘Re-Presenting Art’ is inspired by the meta-aesthetics of philosophy and has arisen mainly from great contact with contemporary art in my art foundation year. Initially this piece was just going to be the one article, however having not reached a conclusion and only have raised a large amount of questions, the discussion really needed to be continued. All of the pieces are spontaneously written and structured and then spell checked and in places re-phrased. The nature of this has meant that articles are reflections on my current thinking and thus examples are from recent discussions and events. I found when writing in this 3to make logical, critical decisions as I began to write. Ultimately it therefore clarified my standing. To avoid repetition and taking on the opinions of others that I did not already possess, no reading around the topic was carried out while these blogs were being written.