That age-old question: What is the point of Art?
Although the modern art scene is booming, the current financial state of the country has led to drastic cuts in art funding suggesting that art as a whole is still regarded as an inessential cultural privilege. However to ask the question: ‘What is the point of Art’ can only be perceived as evidence of an ill-informed closed mind, or an invitation into the philosophical debate questioning what is the point of anything?
Zygmunt Bauman nicely sums up the answer to this debate in his book ‘Liquid Modernity.
‘The orderly world of the Joshua discourse is a tightly controlled one. Everything in that world serves a purpose, even if it is not clear (for the time being for some, but for ever for most) what that purpose is. That world has no use for whatever may lack use or purpose. No use, moreover, would be acknowledged in that world to be a legitimate purpose. To be recognised, it must serve the maintenance and the perpetuation of the orderly whole. It is the order itself, and the order alone, which does not call for legitimation; it is, and cannot be wished away: this is all we need or can know about it.’ (P55)
The fact that art still exists for the so-called ‘cultured’ elite within the institutions, will have no impact on its continual availability to the masses. Rising education fees may decrease the number of moulded, ‘valued’ ‘YBA’s graduating from universities; however the existence of an outsider art community is very much alive and expanding. Surely the long term effect could only be a rise in anti-institutional original art belonging to the people and that can’t be a bad thing can it?
I found an article on the Guardian website and found it really refreshing. It talks about the new visual culture and how photo’s are consistently being air brushed etc, and that we are always looking at photo’s with scepticism because of this. It concludes by saying that we need to embrace this change and learn to enjoy it rather than reject it.
”Just because you shrug when you look at a picture in the paper, it does not reduce its underlying power over you.”
This is now the culture we live in, and I think that progression in this way within art and design is healthy. With the ever increasing technology, things need to be moved forward so we don’t get stuck in a time warp. As Ezra Pound says- ”make it new”!!
I personally embrace these new technologies and enjoy being able to push the boundaries of reality within say a photograph, this is what my practice is about, and it was nice to read an article that I agreed with and took a positive view on the issue for a change.
”It has to be healthier, better, more wholesome, to believe in the world we inhabit than to see it as meaningless. Since we are now living in a world of images bombarding us from all directions, we need to start loving them. We need to be moved by a news photo shocked by an advert, and see profound beauty in fashion shoots.”
I have not forgotten the down side that many talk about, which is the fashion industry’s use of airbrushing on their images, but then what makes this more shallow? The media for doing this, or for most of the population being influenced by it??
Article can be found at:
The article Gina was reflecting on was interesting and an unusual take on the manipulation of photos. I understand and recognize that the manipulation of images should be embraced as an art form but I’m not sure as a society how we are supposed to become less cynical about the images that are presented to us through media and advertising. The images are all about enticing us in and convincing us to spend our money and on the other hand, have the consumers who bought the products not viewed the images with a sense of trust anyway?
Yes, we are constantly bombarded with images on a daily basis; and it is because of this we have become desensitized to what we see. News reports of war, famine and disasters are a regular daily occurrence nothing is shocking anymore. As a society we have become more sophisticated and unconsciously demand more shocking and distressing images to ‘move’ us.
The image below is by the artist Levi Van Veluw and I think it demonstrates well the reaction of ‘cynacisum’ the article is reffering to. Photoshop or real?
It is in fact real visit his web site http://www.levivanveluw.nl/work/landscapes