* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
In the images [the paintings of the Chauvet cave in southern France] this prehistoric people have bequeathed to us, we get a glimpse of something like a shared humanity, but we also gaze into a stranger part of ourselves, something reaching to the depths. Since we do not know the context in which the paintings were made, we cannot in good faith chalk them up to some clear pragmatic end. We are seeing art in its naked state, deprived of any discernible appropriation. This can trouble our secular sensibilities since it confronts us not just with the mysteries of nature, but more strikingly still with the riddle of the presence of such things as us in the otherwise coherent physical world. Given the fact that the molecular chemistry that makes life possible is the same throughout the cosmos, would finding works of art on Mars or a remote planet be any more uncanny than finding them here on Earth?
F. Martel in Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice: A Treatise, Critique, and Call to Action
Comments are welcome!
*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
As Immanuel Kant explained, aesthetic rapture is a peculiar kind of subjective phenomenon, since it presents itself as anything but subjective. It asks to be shared with others in hopes that they too might experience this thing that has had such a profound effect upon us. Naturally, the desire to share our astonishment is bound to be frustrated as we meet people who respond to our beloved work with indifference or even revulsion. We then remember that the affective power of works of art varies from person to person, and even from moment to moment within the same person’s life, a fact we usually put down to personal taste, though little consideration is given to what that term might mean. People have their own inclinations, and given that the aesthetic is held, not just by Kant but also by common wisdom, to be a private affair, its variability across the broad spectrum of human personalities can only seem inevitable.
J.F. Martel in Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice: A Treatise, Critique, and Call to Action
Comments are welcome!