Solotaire - Benjamin has had opinions for a very long time. Early
on he determined that he liked the ocean, horses, and theatre. Since then
most creatures great and small have been added to the list as well as
a love of all aspects of the visual arts. Two things he loves to offer
opinions about are his children Matthew and Anya. And he greatly enjoys
the opportunity to express all his various opinions in Gooch! magazine.
Photo's of Fluxus Olympics Rutgers University 2003 click here.
Published in Gooch,
go to a museum and walk around and look at paintings and sculptures. They’re
beautiful, you’re moved, and you’re out in the world being
cultural. You feel good because you’ve done this. Then you go home
in time to catch that night’s episode of ‘Lost’. And
you spend the next day talking with your friends about what happened on
the spooky island. Which experience is more socially relevant or even
more relevant to your life? These days at best they’re equal, most
likely it’s the episode of ‘Lost’.
We’ve become complacent. We see art because we’re supposed
to. Sure we enjoy it, but it’s in our lives for 30 minutes and then
we go back to magazines and TV’s and our friends and our To Do lists.
We used to be important to art, our lives our existence, now art has made
itself important to itself.
Let’s go back a little. Cave paintings. No one knows really why
they were done, but you can guess it had some ritual quality, summoning
the beasts for the hunt or paying homage to them before killing them.
Greek pottery, depicting mythical events and commemorating accomplishments
in sports and war. Europe in the Middle Ages, (pardon my ignorance of
what was happening in Asia and Africa, as much a part of the problem as
anything) and you have works depicting their saints and saviour. Multiple
events and images on one surface that were shared experiences and understandings.
Then we come to the Renaissance. We discover, or rediscover, perspective.
Nature studies. The act of painting supercedes the subject matter. Watch
us as we capture the brilliance of our surroundings or the beauty of our
features. We can depict the highs and lows of life around us. Now we move
ahead to the 1900’s and we realize we can also paint and sculpt
the thoughts in our head. Abstraction we call it. Isn’t it really
just the reality of our minds?
All right, art history in a paragraph is more then a simplification. But
my point is that art as become more about itself then about the world
around us. Mass media gives us something that art used to give us. Shared
experiences. If art is to be relevant to our lives we need to rethink
what it is and how we experience it.