Monday, August 30, 2010

Reading assignment for Aug. 31st

Agaisnt Interpretation-By Susan Songtag

In this summery, Songtag explores the purpose of interpreation in lititature, music, and art. One of Songtag's main points is why do we create art, and why do we interprate art Why is art useful? Is it useful? Does art have a purpose? Plato believed that art didn't hold a purpose and in his mind a piece of art was an "imitation of an imitation." If an artist paints a picture of a bed on canvas, the viewer cannot sleep on the painted bed it so the painting has no function. On the other hand, Aristotle believed that it was a form of therapy and art is "medicinally useful in that it arouses and purges dangerous emotions."
Sontag writes about in order to create "art" we have to have to start with an idea or content. I believe that sometimes art doesn't need interpretation. As Songtag states: "Today is such a time, when the project of interpreation is largely reactionary, stifling." Why as humans do we NEED to interprate? Why can't something be as it is? Why do we have to mentally masturbate over an idea? For example: Songtag writes about Tennesee William's play Street Car Named Desire. Some critics believe that when the streetcar roaring down a dark empty street past Blance De Bouis house is a phallic metaphor. And Kafka's short book " Metamorphisis" is really just about a catapiller turning into a butterfly. Why can't it be just a car driving down a dark street? Why can't Metamorphisis just really be about a catapiller?
When viewers aproach art they automatically try to find something to talk about. Or, a piece or artwork provokes emotion. "The function of criticism should be to show how it is what it is, even that it is what it is, rather than to show what it means."

  • Why do we focus on the content of work?
  • What are the "rules" of interpretation?
  • Why in today's society is interpretation so complex?

Agnes Martin- (20 min video)

Agnes Martin believes that in order to make a great piece of artwork, the artist has to know what he/she wants and to always have a clear picture of the outcome. Agnus Martin focuses on the importance of having an inspiration. Not neccessarly having a concrete plan or idea, but more of a general sense as a whole. In todays' society, it seems that creating art is more about the idea, and less about the inspiration.

  • Why are we loosing inspiration?
  • Is producing art an experiment?
  • Is art science in a way?

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