Well first off Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope it is a good one.
For this holiday post I wanted to engage the question of art versus Art. That age old, or at least a century old question on the difference between what is considered “high art” and all that other stuff they call “low art.” I know that the distinction has come up already and the term entertainment has been thrown around as well as what Adorno called it, “light art,” bud I’d like to dedicate a post just to this distinction. First I really don’t see merit in defining which is which just yet and I apologize to those who do. I would like to start with a discussion of the category itself and why we as a society have felt the need to create it.
I know we could have an entire conversation on why our culture has the need to create categories in the first place and maybe we will someday here at this blog but for now I’d like to approach the conversation of why with art. I know that that may seem very simplistic to some of you but you never know, sometimes it is the simplest questions that produce the most complex answers.
Anyway perhaps an obvious explanation is our desire to award genius talent, to separate those among us who show an extraordinary ability. And when the goal of art was that sort of extreme realism and mathematical precision it was during the Renaissance, that distinction was necessary. But what about today? Today that ability is not measured by some sort of tangible talent but rather by a talent in approaches. I have to stop here and acknowledge the fact that for those who do not accept modern art as art this probably will suffice as an explanation of the two, but for those of us who see modern art as definitively art then let us continue.
So today when the definition has been so greatly expanded and the potential for even “ready-mades” to fall into the category of Art (yes with a big “a”) why should we even have this division? I purpose that based off my idea of art as an interaction, that all “art” can now obtain that level of “Art” depending on the interaction between the observer and the object.
But how much should we follow such a proposal, I mean are we ready to except the Mona Lisa and Duchamp’s Fountain on the same playing field? Well based on my interactions with both, yes.
I look forward to your thoughts,