The Independant in Art & Architecture "Is art running out of ideas? Artists forced to explain modern art From the Tate to Trafalgar Square, new works often seem to come with an explanation for the viewer." Please, says Tom Lubbock, let us make up our own minds
Monday, 14 July 2008
"Meaning comes first – even before the work itself." I feel art is born from inspiration, a deep urge in response, sometimes with no labeled meaning. Simply the act of creating resulting in something new. As artists we will just create, it just flows, we don't always even know from where. Be it subconscious or perhaps it is the rhythm of creative movement bringing the form to the work. Sometimes the work itself reveals what no words could utter - hence "meaning". With distance and objectivity the evidence can be revealed months and years later. Once gain Monet "simply just to love" comes to mind. I am rethinking artist statements. I recall Susan Sonatag from my time with the Women's Caucus for Art, and like her writing, I agree here with both authors
That's the problem with these meanings. They're not just highly tenuous. They're
depressingly limiting. And we should put them aside. We should stop measuring
art by its meaningfulness. We should heed the wise words of Susan Sontag,
written almost 50 years ago in her essay "Against Interpretation".
"Our task is not to find the maximum amount of content in a work of art, much less to squeeze more content out of the work than is already there. Our task is to cut
back on content so that we can see the thing at all. The aim of all commentary
on art now should be to make works of art – and, by analogy, our own experience
– more, rather than less, real to us."