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Reply to "The Spiritual Problem With Modernist Art"

Originally posted by HeruStar:
- the roles, rights and responsibilities of the artist/creator, and,
- the roles, rights and responsibilities of the viewer?


Only if we can agree that art is 'INFLUENTIAL'.

I believe that people can be taken advantage of and mislead by artistic influences.

ok Herustar... I'm not sure if this is agreement, your call, I would agree that SOME art is INFLUENTIAL. Not all art is. Is that close enough ? Smile

And defining the influence it has is very slippery ground. Influnece of ... style, substance, colour, by imitation, technique, and to what degree....etc.

OK... here's what I've come up with so far... feel free to add, argue, comment. It's by no means definitive, and I'll probably add on to it.

Role of the Artist:
- to question themselves, society or others
- to put forward a viewpoint
- to probe, examine, and put ideas on trial
- to celebrate ideas
- to deliver a message
- to engage the viewer
- to be a visionary

Rights of the Artist:
- the right to express themselves without censorship
- to not have to defend or explain their work
- not to live a reclusive life of poverty
- the right to credibility

Responsibility of the Artist:
- to be true to themselves and true to their vision
- to have a point of view and express it
- to maintain the integrity of their message whether it is popular or not
- not to plaigarise others' work
- name and sign their work
- not to be swayed or influenced by popular opinion
- not to be an imposter. eg. not to deliver work just to be ˜popular'

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Role of the Viewer:
- be present in the moment and see the work in-situ not in a catalogue or book
- to look for the message
- to contemplate the message
- avoid paranoia - the artist is not laughing at you
- avoid being self-absorbed yourself - if you don't identify with the work, maybe someone else does?
- don't pretend to understand the message if you don't - ask

Rights of the Viewer:
- to like or dislike what they see after fair and unbiased appraisal of the execution and the context of the work
- question the context, but not the message
- to ask the artist (if possible) to explain if the message is unclear
- to demand to know why something has been titled "Untitled"
- your own opinion of the work

Responsibility of the Viewer:
- be polite
- be prepared to suspend disbelief
- don't critique work after accepting too many free glasses of wine on opening night!!
- allow the work to speak for itself and to speak to you
- engage in the communication on offer
- to approach the work with an open mind and no preconceived ideas
- be objective
- be subjective
- be prepared to examine and contemplate another viewpoint to your own
- be prepared to be wrong
- avoid the ˜I know better than the artist' syndrome
- only ever whisper "I could do better than that", when out of the gallery and far away from the artist or gallery owner.


I'll be back later.