Friday, March 23, 2012

Is it just me?

What is art? Is it the piece itself, the way the piece is received or something else again? Does art require beauty? Does it require understanding? Must art provoke, disturb? Must it bring out the best or worst in us?

Don't ask me!

In particular the world of commercial art completely baffles me. I can not for the life of me understand why certain artists are the It Artists while others, equally talented to my eye, are largely ignored. Sometimes to me the game of commercialized art feels a whole lot like the Emperor without his clothes.

The other possibility is that I truly have no taste, and am so not cool. I'm saying all this because I went to see Song 1 at the Hirschhorn last night, will go check it out a second time tonight. I was blown away by the technology, unable to connect to the content in any way, shape or form. And I'm still trying to get the damn song out of my head.

I decided not to post the pics I took which are inferior in every way to those you can see in the Washington Post, New York Times, even Vogue Magazine! This is a big deal, and indeed the scale of the project is spectacular. But did I become intrigued, involved, or curious about the narrative as I watched? Not even for a second. Hmmmm.


jeanette from everton terrace said...

I have a girlfriend and often, when we get together, we visit an exhibit or museum. Half the time we are just shaking our heads and saying "really?" to each other.
We went up to Seattle to visit Meg for her birthday and stopped in the museum. There was a toilet with some stuff painted on it. We just all looked at each other and kept walking. I don't get it.
I have no answer.
My husband and I have a huge problem with getting songs stuck in our heads - we play little games with each other about it. The tunes can last for days. I was stuck with "leaving on a jet plane" for about 4 days this week!

Tom said...

We toured the Hirshhorn a couple years ago when a floor/section was dedicated to a guy who painted blue canvases. I love the museum, but some of the "art" inside really baffles me. It would be a kick to walk through it with you..and the sculpture garden too--wow!

ellen abbott said...

The eternal question. I think art is in the making. The end result is just a thing. You may like it or not.

janis said...

what i do love about art is that it is so many different things to so many different people. I raised my girls to try to appreciate that Art is in the eye of the beholder (much like beauty).
While I may not understand the passion some have for abstract art... i absolutely love what many would hate.
For does not have to be beautiful, or provoke, I dont even have to understand it. But if it somehow spoke to me, intrigued me or made me think...that is Art to me.
ps... ARE so cool!

Reya Mellicker said...

What is and isn't art is extremely subjective. Oh yeah.

Ellen my favorite part of every creative project is the making. Even when I cook, when it's time to sit down, I'm no longer hungry.

Going to write tomorrow, but I went back tonight and found much more to apprciatre about Song 1.

Tom I would LOVE to walk they the Hirschhorn with you! We have to. Ok?

Steve Reed said...

I don't know what this Song 1 looks like...guess I need to look up the photos!

You've reminded me of the Joni Mitchell song "For Free," where she discusses the fact that she gets paid millions of dollars for what she does while musicians on the corner play perfectly well for free. She's bewildered about it, too.

Reya Mellicker said...

Steve I posted a bunch of pics on FB. I liked it better last night. Wish you were here to critique it with me!

I need orange said...

The whole question of "what is Art" is so totally connected with current taste that there is probably no answer.

When one knows for a fact that some people deliberately set out to do the most outrageous things they can think of, call it art, and then dare those with money/power/art-connection to ignore them -- and are successful at becoming the $$$ darling of the moment............

When one knows that happens, it is hard not to be totally cynical about the whole thing.

I think I know perfectly well what is art and what isn't, and I don't always agree with what is thought by museums, etc, to be Art (especially in the contemporary category!).

Totally love that double reflection on the hood!!!! Wow!!!! :-)