Member 83
49 entries

Xárene Eskandar
Los Angeles, US
Immortal since Apr 4, 2007
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    "What is Art?"
    I've been teaching non-art/design undergrads for a few years and the one question I get every single year, innocently, is "What is art?" My responses have been philosophical and abstract, probably leaving them as baffled as before they asked the fateful question. In a way, I avoided answering the Question. This year, I've found an answer: Sergei Parajanov's The Color of Pomegranates (1968). The film is sublime. It is the perfection of poetry, composition, form, texture, and color. Most importantly, as a response to the Question, it is tangible because it is sensual, and it is politically contextualized, which makes it profoundly emotional (a bit more difficult for younger generations to grasp, but dramatic nonetheless).

    Parajanov paid for his films with his life. Read this again. Parajanov paid for his films with his life. What is art but that which is lived? Who is an artist but one who commits to his/her vision in face of imprisonment, torture and death? Who is an artist but one who makes the ultimate sacrifice to say and make what needs to be said and made? I am crying. No, weeping. Is it for the loss of artists like Parajanov? Is it that we live in a world that violently, both makes and kills beauty? Maybe it's for myself because if Sayat Nova and its becoming art are what art is, I don't have the guts to make art.

    Comments welcome on how you have responded to this question.

    Wed, Jun 22, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: rant art Parajanov
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    First Dark     Sat, Jun 25, 2011  Permanent link
    Art is subjective.

    GUSTS     Thu, Sep 1, 2011  Permanent link
    I think that art can be anything that communicates with and stimulates a person's senses.

    As above, art is subjective, and I'd say that's the case in deciding between the "good" and the "bad" art..
    {i}Pan~     Sun, Sep 4, 2011  Permanent link
    Art is intelligence applied to matter.
    Phyllotaxis     Sun, Sep 4, 2011  Permanent link
    Art is matter expressing intelligence
    sonicport+techfolder     Mon, Sep 5, 2011  Permanent link
    I always think it means getting your hands dirty, or representations of your hands.
    Sterling Crispin     Tue, Sep 20, 2011  Permanent link
    I think "What is art" or "Is this art?" are not very useful questions. This is not a critique of your post but of the general question that is constantly being echoed throughout society

    I think its much more interesting & useful to ask -

    What is this
    Why is this
    What is it doing
    How is it doing what it is doing
    How can I understand it from a perspective outside of myself,
    How does it interact with the world
    What is its affect
    What were the intentions that created it
    How does its formal aspects relate to its content

    all of those questions will get you much deeper than "What is art" or "Is this art" , they are both totally subjective and usually relate in some binary answer of "yes/no" or at least dead end rather quickly

    a little background about me - I have gone through a 4 year bachelors degree in fine art, worked in a contemporary art museum for a year , worked as an assistant gallery director & curator for a year, been through a three year artist in residence program & am now starting masters degree in art, and people within my masters program are still questioning "is this art" or "what is art" , its a very hard question to deprogram from peoples minds

    sonicport+techfolder     Wed, Sep 21, 2011  Permanent link
    Also getting artists to work together can be a nightmare within perhaps a similar reasoning. As part of my research I asked artists in our group to order the following in importance. It was more about working with people than working with art.

    Sharing concepts__1
    Sharing language__3
    Empassing discipline__4
    Co-ordination skills__5
    Finding new artistic worlds__2

    Another member said 'people don't work with each other because they choose to isolate their personal art worlds to maintain their credibility.'

    I see it as the river and the road. Think of the exchange between the street and the stream. The street is the best curator in the world. The combination of lichen and rubber is astounding. I write this sitting at the birthplace of water, an old car tyre has made it here somehow. In plotting its journey I am annoyed to discover other small unwanted objects between the pine leaves.
    syncopath     Mon, Sep 26, 2011  Permanent link
    10x Xarene for a sincere and 'naked' post.
    here are some few results from the varied voices i find in mind reading the question you have posed (that though represent an obvious manner of Questioning, it may also reveal some undercurrent notions, awakening the obvious).
    I like to play with proverbs, maxims, quotes and short citations of all man & woman on this earth (or any other)). It is a useful way, for me, to short cut through the 'hall of mirrors' of our collective memory, and stroll through the diverse palate of human taste. so here is a brief trial:

    * You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.
    George Bernard Shaw
    * The art of a people is a true mirror to their minds.
    Jawaharlal Nehru
    * If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.
     Rene Descartes
    Here i would suggest (4 the purpose of this discussion) to replace Truth with Art .....
    * Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern. Alfred North Whitehead
    * I've often said in the past that we don't have time to 'express' and to 'represent.'
    Tatsumi Hijikata

    * a Dictionary etymological reminder: Art (v.) second person present indicative of be; O.E. eart; 

    and me, now, strolling my mind with this post, i think i would say that:
    Art is Life. just that, Life, is a particular case of Art.
    I smile while saying it, of course. But then i smile again and talk 2 myself i say:
    "do you think it's funny?? think again ....... "
    syncopath     Sun, Oct 2, 2011  Permanent link
    and ...
    here are some more Quote-Collage from my page, that might add a line or shad another pixel as to "what is art" (?????!!!))

    1. Glenn Gould
    2. Len Lye
    3. Shores of Perception
    4. Empty Canvas
    5. A point OF indifference
    sonicport+techfolder     Wed, Oct 5, 2011  Permanent link
    Cyborg Hotdesk: research outcome summary syncpoint (001)