The Notion of Art

At times I struggle to come to terms with art, what it is or perhaps what it is not.

In the first sense there are so many genres of art to consider from people who ‘dabble’ in paint and pastel on the weekend to those who conceptualize and possibly create, to all sorts in between.marilyn1

Perhaps there is something fundamental about the whole notion of art that we fail to teach people about how to explore the genres and respect each for what it does for the person and its possible wider cultural context. From technical execution to conceptual creation and validation, which is ‘right’ is probably not a suitable response from an ethical perspective and showing respect for the person’s input and creation of an artwork.

What makes something what it is, is perhaps more a question for philosophers, the perception of reality, the notion of meaning, the use of the sum total of our experiences, values and beliefs for how people formulate their responses to questions about objects which may or may not have cultural significance.

Is that a measure of art, it’s cultural significance? Perhaps that’s too open, too broad. Perhaps there is another quality to measure art by that has nothing to do with culture. I am left to wonder if there is anything non cultural. Take a standard definition of culture, “patterns of behaviour” as a basic guideline, now try and explore the notion of no pattern. In our existentialist world all we do can be linked to some form of pattern.

Did I just create the answer to my question? Therefore perhaps everything is of cultural significance, but to what degree it is significant is another thing.

Did I just open up the concept that all things are therefore valid but the depth of validity will depend on the viewer and how they process the information provided based on their values, beliefs and experiences? Possibly.

In looking at what has been explored here I guess we can start to ponder how people get to learn what they learn and push boundaries around the value of that learning.

Have you learnt about art through some cultural dialogue, have you learnt enough to cause you to be respectful of others positions on art and what they may create? Have you learnt to conceptually process information and come to some notion of right or wrong about something not being art?

Discuss…