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 Post subject: Re: Censorship
PostPosted: 090421 20:46 
Forum Underling
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What'd I tell you, beret = douchebag. It's a stereotype that unfortunately often comes true (imagine that actually happening in front of you in real life...it'd annoy you, too).

But seriously, you ask about whether or not there's a proper meaning to art. I would say that yes, of course there is. The power of art lies in its ability to let the artist express to the audience things that can't be said with everyday language. But like language, if the listener doesn't understand what the speaker is saying, it's nothing more than a bunch of random sounds (however cool they may sound). Say I look at that compilation of artistic nudes you posted earlier. Why am I looking at them? Because I like big butts, and I cannot lie (actually I don't, and I can, but that's not the point here). Why do folk like me look at the nude in art? Because we like'em dem titties. Are you really going to tell me that there wouldn't be anything we'd be missing out on by focusing just on that? No "point", no "message"?

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 Post subject: Re: Censorship
PostPosted: 090421 22:04 
Legendary Overfiend
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Monkee wrote:
What'd I tell you, beret = douchebag. It's a stereotype that unfortunately often comes true (imagine that actually happening in front of you in real life...it'd annoy you, too).

It's not that I don't necessarily believe you, but still, in my experience (albeit little), it seems like a caricature that's fun to laugh at, that the people who don't really 'get' art like to complain about, and not an actual phenomenon. I can't remember the last time I saw somebody wearing a beret. Though, as a result of this discussion, I've been considering getting one and wearing it. Then again, I don't really like wearing hats, so I probably won't bother.

Monkee wrote:
Are you really going to tell me that there wouldn't be anything we'd be missing out on by focusing just on that? No "point", no "message"?

No, you're right. I guess it's more of a delicate issue than that. I was thinking of somebody making an equivalently deep interpretation, as opposed to somebody just getting off on the surface details. For example, if I take a moody selfportrait with a lot of shadows, and my intent was to invoke a sense of 'melancholy', and somebody else interprets it as 'sinister', I'm not gonna tell them, no, you've got it wrong, that's not what I intended at all. I'm gonna say, ok, interesting, I hadn't thought about it like that. In that sense I feel like the interpretation of even my own art is sort of a collaborative activity between myself and my audience. But I guess different artists and different pieces of art are created for different reasons, and some of them have more rigid interpretations than others. I like art that is fluid, to a degree.

I mean, the whole idea of there being just one "correct" interpretation is way too rigid, too scientific. That's not what art is about at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Censorship
PostPosted: 090430 21:13 
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Thread rez!

It's not that I feel like there has to be one specific interpretation to a piece of art, but I do think that if you don't see where the artist is coming from, you won't fully connect with the art (or, rather, the art won't fully connect with you). This is, I think, why 'classical' music by modern composers is so trite and empty. The composers of modern classical have no connection to the cultures which baroque, classical, and romantic composers tapped in to, so their music is made in a literal imitation of previous music, rather than an attempt to recreate the artistic and emotional effects of the music.

An example, of sorts: out of the entirety of Handel's Messiah, the best known piece is (by far) the Hallelujah Chorus; maybe not the best musically, but certainly the best known. Because of its fame, in modern performances will often put it at the end of the Messiah - a great way to go out, I suppose - or even play it around Christmas time. This hurts me on so many levels. What this shows is that the modern performers often have no sense of Handel's intent in composing the Messiah, to them it's just pretty sounds; and I simply can't believe that 'pretty sounds' was the final goal for Handel. So yes, I believe there is (at least to a degree) a correct and incorrect way to interpret a piece. Whatever the audience believes or does not believe about the nature of Jesus as the Messiah, if they want to fully appreciate Handel's art they must recognize the tradition whence came his inspiration.

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 Post subject: Re: Censorship
PostPosted: 090501 04:32 
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I think, maybe, that we are thinking of two very different kinds of art. You seem to be concerned with "formal" art, invoking classical and highbrow compositions, whereas I am looking at art informally, as a natural extension of the very act of living itself. There is art that is meticulously crafted, and there is art that sort of just hangs in the air, ready to be plucked and molded at will by those who pass it - no two interpretations alike.

In any case, I sympathize with your concern about mixing up the order of a musical piece. Especially for the sake of "pop" justifications. Like cutting off the final chapter of a novel. Only the author really has the authority to make that decision.

On the other hand, when you make those statements, I do begin to perceive a faint glimmer of a beret appearing on your head. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Censorship
PostPosted: 090502 14:28 
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Balancing my distaste for art critics with my inherent sense of intellectual superiority is something I struggle with on a daily basis. I suppose it comes down to one of those "I'll know it when I see it situations". I think, in part, it just bothers me that modern and post-modern art have become so much the dominant trends in contemporary art (I know the word 'modern' assumes that, but it's a style rather than temporal thing). Yes, part of it is my own tastes - Jacques Louis David and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres would never have had anything to do with red square on white canvas. What I'm railing against isn't necessarily the art itself, but rather the culture that surrounds it, in which people use a feigned love of the arts to make themselves look good.

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