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2006-12-22 02:17:08
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Criticism of Modern Art/Literature


By: [Dil*]


So how does one determine if a piece of abstract art/literature is good or bad? It’s not shit if the person created it is very smart. It’s not so much the art itself is ingenious, as the ability to defend art that is shit that is ingenious. This coloured square, amidst all the other coloured squares, represents a new found multiculturalism in the modern era. Now insert some more obscure post-modern gibberish here and you’ve got yourself a fortune of idiots willing to buy bullshit for skyrocketing prices. It’s almost like a type of trend, not unlike the logo/name-brand infatuation that swept the world not too long ago. Maybe, out of pure cruel spite, rich people will buy shit-ass abstract art just to show people they can spend copious amounts of money on art offensive to the eyes that still costs more than the life of a common hobo. 

Anyone who examines modern art to an extreme level requiring hours of research is practicing a type of trained schizophrenia. Basically, what they are doing is finding meaning where there may very well be NONE. Of course, certain English literature professors will fight to the death over subjective interpretation. If I put a bunch of ‘those’ into a room, toss a pen into the room, yell: “What is the hidden meaning or purpose of this pen!” and lock the door; I expect to come back finding a pile of corpses. Naturally, the winner interpretation of the pen would be ‘a weapon’.

It is possible to create abstract art that is good, but "aye there’s the rub", there’s no easy way to determine if it’s sincere or ‘bullshit’. But wasn’t art (this modern type) devised to express ideas through medium? Was it not gauged according to effectiveness of conveying ideas? 

I have seen abstract art, that evokes emotion and thoughts, the feeling bleeds forth from the mere brush strokes (usually that type has some sort of resemblance to certain objects), but I have seen ‘grids’ and nonsensical geometrical patterns that do nothing for anyone sane. Thus, I purpose a standard, good art is self-explantory. It should require neither elaborate explanation nor defence to make one appreciate it. It should have that one quality, that one ‘shallow’ aesthetic quality that draws people into it enough to give a shit what it means.



>>dilandau's philosophy


2006

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2006-11-13 [Da Funkmasta' RAG]: As far as I go I would say the art (literature) I create is for simply selfish reasons. I have no way of knowing if someone will like what I am doing or not nor do I really care. Sure if someone praises my work then I get gratification, but the main reason for creation is a way of expressing myself and my thoughts to other people. It is the act of writing and TRYING to get an idea across the gap from soul to shining soul that is gratifying to me. Whether it succeeds in part or full is irrelavent. I guess what I am saying is that I aim my goals and writing higher than I think I can make just so I can be surprised if I hit the mark.

2006-11-13 [The Scarlet Pumpernickle]: I think art should have a standard... somehow. Otherwise what would stop an imbecile from pointing at Rembrant and saying "I don't get anything out of this...so it's not art. There has to be a standard. Otherwise those sickos who say that child porn is art are right...and it is. And that is one thing that I can never believe.

2006-11-13 [sophomoric]: This, in my mind, is similar to Tolstoy's definition of good art vs. bad art, bad art is subsequently labelled as "not art at all".

There is no painting, modernist or otherwise, that does not in some way, shape or form move the observer. Tolstoy suggested that good art is that which presents the intended message, and is typically a good message. Art with negative messages subsequently becomes bad art, and what does not deliver its intended message ceases to be art. Paraphrasing here.

I disagree, though. Art is not something that can be objectively standardized and quantified, packaged neat and tidy. The reason for this is the fact that art itself is not an objective process of creative development. Creativity itself is subjective on the creator's imagination, which is developed by any number of experiences. To illustrate my point with an analogy:

The poem I wrote that you didn't get. To you, that may be (to some degree) less of a poem than other poems that evoke something or some form of understanding. Others would argue to death that it is indeed a poem and that they think it effective and beautiful in conveying something, even if the something is vague and inconstant between a multi-variable audience.

Child pornography could be art, if it was approached with artistic, just as pornography could be deemed art if approached from the same perspective, but morality conflictions force us to disallow the presentation of the former and to look down upon the latter.

Why should art be shallow? There is enough shallow art to settle that want and need. Surely there should be some art out there for stimulation of interpretation and contemplation; why should art be limited to the piece itself? Why can't it be an interactive development where it is not complete until someone looks upon it and says "This painting is about ______."

Even our senses are, to varying degrees, subjective. We do not see things with the exact same colours. We do not see things with the exact same precision of ocular focus. We do not experience things identically, so why should interpretation of art be so drastically reduced to a concept of "This is, and this is not."

Any unlawful deeds, any virtuous act, any conversation, and even the act of voiding one's bowels could be devised as art if someone approached the act, the production, the development (what have you) with the intent of creating art, and of delivering some form of message, even if the message itself would be to interpret it for yourself. If you were to subjectively determine that their piece was not art, that would be your own interpretation. There are no naturally concocted universals, so why should we artificially impose them upon one of the few true freedoms the mind has alotted us?

That is my opinion.

2006-11-14 [Fizban]: IF someone shit in a heart shaped pile...no one has the right to say that because his medium was his own feces...it's not art.

he doesn't even have to have it in a shape, by what your saying.

Seeing as art is all, ~entirely~ opinion, there really is no concrete way to say.

2006-11-14 [Dil*]: There is no arguement about wether or not something is art, I'm argueing for what is deemed 'quality' art.

I was worried I'd get this sort of misinterpretation.

this is the crux, the point that should have provoked some thought: It is possible to create abstract art that is good, but "aye there’s the rub", there’s no easy way to determine if it’s sincere or ‘bullshit’. But wasn’t art (this modern type) devised to express ideas through medium? Was it not gauged according to effectiveness of conveying ideas?

and point 2:

Anyone who examines modern art to an extreme level requiring hours of research is practicing a type of trained schizophrenia. Basically, what they are doing is finding meaning where there may very well be NONE.



The rest could be expendable. I know any sort of art standard is a shaky proposal.

2006-11-14 [sophomoric]: To your first point: No, that's not the entire purpose of modern art. Though my knowledge on the history of art has rested idle for a period of time, my time in "Philosophy of Art" was not in vain. Yes, it is indeed difficult to sort through the bullshit and sincerity, but that's a major copout.

It's difficult to sort through the bullshit and the sincerity of everyday social interaction, but that doesn't mean the only logical course of action is to limit sincere speech to particular words and the rest will be considered little is not entirely bullshit.

To attempt to create a standard for art (being, the "quality of art", which I assure you is not a far cry from whether or not something is in fact art) is ridiculous. Standards are based off of agreement, and the artworld has yet to agree on a number of matters, let alone whether something can be considered "quality" art. It's essentially the same dilemma as if something is or isn't art. People are going to insist that something is good while others insist it is crap. That doesn't mean that modernism should be discounted entirely, or that a specific piece discounted because it doesn't mean anything to you or your peers.

To the second point: That's being a tad literal with the word schizophrenia, but that matter aside, I've never known anyone to take part in exhaustive research to determine the meaning behind a particular piece. I cite the intentional fallacy in this regard, nonetheless, though. I could shit in a box and have it mean absolutely nothing to me, but someone could take that shit box and put it in a gallery because it meant something to them. Just because I created it without meaning or intention doesn't mean meaning isn't there.



Yes. Art isn't meant to be thought. It's meant to be felt or not felt and left at that.

2006-11-14 [Dil*]: Hmm, the arguement on whether something is art or not art is a futile one, I've thrown my towel in on that one a long time ago. I've got it down as 'expression through external medium' and I pray that's vague enough to encompass all.

Still fumbling with the concepts of 'quality art'.

Difficult or impossible to sort out the bullshit? Or is it merely another matter of opinion, which is what I feel you're getting at.



"I've never known anyone to take part in exhaustive research to determine the meaning behind a particular piece" - really? I've had a couple of pretty painful experiences with modern literature, given, some of it was of the existentialist variety.

2006-11-14 [The Scarlet Pumpernickle]: Ha! Ya... you've got the same problem with literature. I swear that some of my teachers read WAAAAY too much into certain words...

2006-11-14 [QueenQaab]: Perhaps a lesson could be learned from "Menacchio, The Cheese Maker." He lived in Renaissance times and he insisted the moon was made of cheese (really! he did). His belief in his belief was so intense, he went to his death for "heresy." What I learned, from this book and from my own experience as a poet, is that the "audience" for an artwork OFTEN interprets the work in some way different from the artist's intent. This fact does not mean that I, the poet, deliberately inserted "hidden meaning" into the poem. Nor does it mean that I, the poet, wrote a deliberately obscure poem. The eye of the behold is ALL to the eye of the beholder, no matter how off-base that is from the artist's viewpoint.

That said, I do think that some so-called art is crap, but that would be in the eye of this particular beholder, me. No way would I deem a heart-shaped pile of shit to be art. I know that not just me. I'm not a "trained" artist so I don't even attempt to qualify a piece of art as "quality" or not for anyone else but myself. I did balk, in college, at professorial demands that I respond to anything exactly the same way as the professor responded.

2006-12-22 [sophomoric]: "really? I've had a couple of pretty painful experiences with modern literature, given, some of it was of the existentialist variety."

When I was citing art, I meant visual. Modern literature is WAY different from visual art, as it's not a brief instant of "I see the piece, feel the piece, and I'm done" like visual art. Literature is all about thought.

2006-12-22 [Dil*]: "Modern literature is WAY different from visual art..."

You think? They are big into this interpretive thing (how concise of me heh).

2006-12-23 [sophomoric]: That's in reference to the intentional fallacy, I hope. The difference between visual art and literature is that it takes time to take in literature. You ruminate, you ponder, you expose yourself to it over lengths of time. However you are feeling can impose itself upon what you are reading, and change each time you try. When you see an art piece, it's that one instant that you expose yourself to it and maybe the next few minutes you glance at it. They may focus on a similar theme, but their expression of the theme differs substantially.

2006-12-23 [Dil*]: The same changing feelings can be imposed in some arts, like the Mona Lisa appears differently to different people. In modern art, it takes some time to 'take in' themes too.

2006-12-24 [sophomoric]: But think about reading Ulysses and looking at the Mona Lisa.

2006-12-24 [Dil*]: Fair enough.

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