Monday, November 28, 2005

Purpose of art?

What is THE purpose of art? Now this is an often stated question that is typically vague in answer. It sits right up there with the question - "What IS art?" Another humdinger.

I ran across a website that gives a pretty typical answer - To invoke a response.

Click on the below link to visit the website:

Maybe the purpose of art is not so much to invoke a response as to just make the viewer think. Thinking does not necessarily involve joy or anger.

The above artist's work could fall under the category of conceptual art... or just plain funny. But how is this different than say... "America" by Jon Stewart. It may be a reach but Jon Stewart's Daily Show and subsequent book sales are doing so well because they are intelligent humor.

After reading "America", I didn't run out and attack Republicans, but it did make me stop and think about quite a number of issues. One of my favorite features of the book was a voter's registration form with an attached coupon for White Castle (in small print it states that detaching the coupon voids the registration). Now it doesn't take more than a second to figure out which socio-economic group is being targeted by that form. But does it take any longer to relate Stewart's outrageous humor to the very real issue of the new Georgia Poll Tax?

A link to the NY Times article on the Poll Tax is below:
Georgia Poll Tax

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi didn't encourage people to anger and violence, they stirred the masses to think. Can Gandhi be considered one of the original Conceptual Artists?

The concepts of Art and Ideas are interchangeable. - DN


Olga Norris said...

Perhaps the purpose of art is make us all pause: artist and viewer alike. Pause to think, and to re-think. The reaction has to involve emotion too. Good art lingers in the mind, measuring its response against future experience as well as past.

chee meng look said...

Its the motif of all civilisation development.--I have recently took a cut from my salary to work on a web page as collaboration platform for Malaysian artists/designers, because I believe that art is about elevation of all things in life. It worries me despite claims of economic growth by the country, some of the major art colleges have recently closed down, and the number of students at MIA ( Malaysia Institute of Art) is dwindeling. What has happened to the people ? Can a motif be lost in a process while the action ( development) goes on ? What would be the consequence ?