Pages: 1 [2]   Go Down

Author Topic: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?  (Read 34780 times)

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 14460
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2013, 04:35:29 AM »

Absolutely; can't argue with that, Fred.

At best we are but conduit for the ethos of the time. It's why we do what we do. We know no better. It's why I yearn for the grainy Sarah Moon era of veiled cloche hats, of droopy eyes heavy with loads of mascara... it's my magical potion, my drug of choice. Why would I crave or understand today's plastic, Photoshop skins?

As I wrote earlier, for me at least, it's all emotions.

Rob C

amolitor

  • Guest
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2013, 11:29:09 AM »

There is this depressing problem with the way we talk about Art with a capital A.

We use words like "message" and we say things like "a good piece says something" and these phrases get interpreted to mean, roughly, that a work of Art corresponds in a fairly literal way to a written or spoken message, that Art somehow "encodes" a paragraph or so of actual language. This is a natural way to interest phrases like "it speaks to me", or "it says something to the viewer"

When I stupidly bandy around phrases like this, at any rate, it is NOT what I mean. What I mean is that the piece provokes a reaction in most viewers, that it generates an emotion or a response. It doesn't have to be emotional, but it usually has a strong emotional element.

If Art was just encoded text, we'd surely just write the text down and be done with it, right? Why bother hacking up a 2 ton chunk of marble when all we're trying to say is "humanity suffers and becomes beautiful for its suffering" or whatever literal message I might have in mind. I could spend 10 seconds with a slip of paper and a pen, instead of 2 years with chisel.

A piece of Art that does merely encode some literal paragraph of language is arguably a failure. It ought to be connecting at a more primitive level, or in a different way. That's kind of the point.
Logged

mezzoduomo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 349
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2013, 09:00:50 PM »

We use words like "message" and we say things like "a good piece says something" and these phrases get interpreted to mean, roughly, that a work of Art corresponds in a fairly literal way to a written or spoken message, that Art somehow "encodes" a paragraph or so of actual language. This is a natural way to interest phrases like "it speaks to me", or "it says something to the viewer.

Your words resonate with me, amolitor. There's all kinds of chatter on photo blogs and podcasts lately about 'storytelling' in photography as in, "I'm not trying to just capture compelling images, I'm trying to tell a story." "I see myself as a 'storyteller' through my images." "I want to tell the story of how I experienced this scene." "Great images tell a story...", and on and on.

I have a hard time fully understanding this, and maybe its me being dense or uncultured, or maybe 'story' is not exactly the right word. I can certainly concoct a 'story' from many images, and I think decisions we all make in framing, exposing, presenting images can certainly suggest a mood or feeling, or can influence a viewer's inferred, concocted story. But to me, this is all emotion, and subjective interpretation...not 'story' as such.

Logged

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 14460
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2013, 05:22:44 AM »

Amen! I'm happy to see, at last, a few folks understanding my stated problem with photographs and 'message'!

Don't be shy; iconoclasts often have a very good point to make, and within photography - especially within photography - it often consists of cleaning out the bullshit.

If it leaves us all with not a lot, then at least let that tiny bit be honest.

Rob C

Gulag

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 336
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2013, 01:59:13 AM »

Amen! I'm happy to see, at last, a few folks understanding my stated problem with photographs and 'message'!

Don't be shy; iconoclasts often have a very good point to make, and within photography - especially within photography - it often consists of cleaning out the bullshit.

If it leaves us all with not a lot, then at least let that tiny bit be honest.

Rob C

removed
« Last Edit: August 24, 2014, 01:20:29 AM by Gulag »
Logged
"Photography is our exorcism. Primitive society had its masks, bourgeois society its mirrors. We have our images."

— Jean Baudrillard

Manoli

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1238
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2013, 03:01:42 AM »



NOW I understand ! Simple.
Couldn't you find something slightly more esoteric to make your point ?

Of course, Jean Baudrillard, Frenchman, sociologist, philosopher and post-structuralist ...

quote
With the attack on the World Trade Center, we have now witnessed the ultimate event, the mother of all events, an event so pure it contains within it all the events that never took place ...and to the fascination that it exerts... directly proportional to the prodigious jubilation felt at having seen this global superpower destroyed, because it was this insufferable superpower that gave rise both to the violence now spreading throughout the world and to the terrorist imagination that (without our knowing it) dwells within us all.
unquote

http://www.egs.edu/faculty/jean-baudrillard/articles/the-mind-of-terrorism/
Logged

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 14460
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2013, 04:17:56 AM »

Tried to read that link; for some post-modernist reason much of it contains gremlins that distracted me from its message.

On the whole, of what I could grasp, it's rubbish; bullshit wrapped in cling film.

Exactly the kind of 'post' that, had it appeared here, in LuLa, would have found folks reaching for the imaginary red button that can't be implemented.

But look at it like this: the time he wasted writing was his own; the time I spent reading was educational and confirmed yet again my suspicion that gurus are not to be trusted.

Rob C

Manoli

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1238
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2013, 05:15:02 AM »

bullshit wrapped in cling film.

That's got to be the understatement of the decade, particularly coming from you, Rob.
I'm (fairly) sure that Gulag posted that placard with a humorous sense of the ridiculous. But the offensiveness of the quoted content beggars belief and certainly puts ANY other of the Frenchman's pearls of wisdom into context.

Guru ? I can think of many, somewhat more appropriate descriptions.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 05:18:32 AM by Manoli »
Logged

jjj

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4738
    • http://www.futtfuttfuttphotography.com
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2013, 05:46:28 AM »

Doc Martens were just orthopedical shoes that nobody
Wanted until the punk fashion. Now Doc Martens is
A respected and desirable brand. The datas changed.
Got a few Clarks in my shoe collection. I remember that
When I was young, Clarks were not desirable at all. Now
The same brand generates desire.
You may find this interesting then.

Quote
Same happens in art.
The very same definition of art fluctuates a lot within
The space-time and therefore all our beleifs.
All is unsubstancial but only a programming.
All this is a big illusion folks.
The illusion commonly known as Fashion.
Logged
Tradition is the Backbone of the Spineless.   Futt Futt Futt Photography

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 14460
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2013, 11:42:27 AM »

You may find this interesting then.
The illusion commonly known as Fashion.



My daughter actually burst into tears in the shop on one occasion when her Mum was buying her 'sensibles' for the new scholastic year... Thing was, they were reliable and came in many precise fittings, which is good for young feet and helps them develop as naturally as any shoe can. But I'm terribly grateful my wife loved stilettos.

Obviously another form of Golden Age...

;-)

Rob C

jjj

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4738
    • http://www.futtfuttfuttphotography.com
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2013, 02:33:05 PM »

The thing about fashion is that sensible shoes are fashionable at times as are stilettos or any other kind.
The thing with items being fashionable is they must by definition go out of fashion, to make way for the next new fashion.
Tattoos being trendy at the moment is really going to bite hard in the future as embarrassing clothes from 20 years ago have been replaced, whereas tattoos......may buy some shares in tattoo removal clinics.

I wore Clarks Nature Trek [had to google real name]  or 'pasties' as we called them to school and even a teacher commented on their oddness [at the time] during class, yet a year later they were the trendy shoes to wear. I of course had moved on to the 18 hole boot versions by then.  ;D

Logged
Tradition is the Backbone of the Spineless.   Futt Futt Futt Photography

Gulag

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 336
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2013, 11:07:35 PM »

"[….] modern art: though seeming to deal with aesthetic problems, it is really performing a work of psychological education on the public by breaking down and destroying their previous aesthetic view of what is beautiful in form and meaningful in content. The pleasingness of the artistic product is replaced by chill abstractions of the most subjective nature which brusquely slam the door on the naive and romantic delight in the senses and their obligatory love for the object. This tells us, in plain and universal language, that the prophetic spirit of art has turned away from the old object relationship and towards the—for the time being—dark chaos of subjectivism. [….]

Great art till now has always derived its fruitfulness from the myth, from the unconscious process of symbolization which continues through the ages and which, as the primordial manifestation of the human spirit, will continue to be the root of all creation in the future. The developments of modern art with its seemingly nihilistic trend towards disintegration must be understood as the symptom and symbol of a mood of world destruction and world renewal that has set its mark on our age. [1957]"

— Carl Gustav Jung / The Undiscovered Self / p.77
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 11:24:39 PM by Gulag »
Logged
"Photography is our exorcism. Primitive society had its masks, bourgeois society its mirrors. We have our images."

— Jean Baudrillard

Telecaster

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1673
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #32 on: December 15, 2013, 02:30:29 PM »

Apropos this thread, an interview with Alain de Botton regarding the new book "Art As Therapy" of which he is co-author.

http://www.denverpost.com/books/ci_24709853/alain-de-botton-offers-radical-way-see-art

A quote:

"We have too easily swallowed the Modernist idea that art which aims to change or help or console its audience must by definition be 'bad art' (Soviet art is routinely trotted out here as an example) and that only art which wants nothing too clearly of us can be good. Hence the all-too-frequent question with which we leave the modern museum of art: What did that mean?

"Why should this veneration of ambiguity continue? Why should confusion be a central aesthetic emotion? Is an emptiness of intent on the part of an artwork really a sign of its importance?"

Care to comment, Mr. Gursky?

-Dave-
Logged

Digital Finger

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2014, 05:39:23 AM »

I think the problem comes from the Art establishment convincing people that 'the message' is where it's at
Logged

Eric Myrvaagnes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11080
    • http://myrvaagnes.com
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2014, 04:10:02 PM »

I haven't piped in on this thread before, since I find the original question rather silly.
One might just as well ask: "Visual Art: is it bereft of Blue?"

Both questions suggest the possibility of sweeping generalities that obviously don't fit all instances.

Some visual images contain some blue. Many do not. Most of mine do not (since most of them are B&W.)

Similarly, some individual instances of visual art may contain something that can arguably be called Message, but a great many do not, or at best communicate something rather simpleminded (like "I thought this scene was pretty.")


Logged
-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my photo website. New images each season. Also visit my new website: http://ericneedsakidney.org

lumiway

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2014, 03:06:51 AM »




I wonder.........do these carry a message?.....they are after all "visual art"

read Saussure
Logged

jjj

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4738
    • http://www.futtfuttfuttphotography.com
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2014, 09:59:45 AM »

They are design.
Logged
Tradition is the Backbone of the Spineless.   Futt Futt Futt Photography

Incastone

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13
Re: Visual Art: is it bereft of Message?
« Reply #37 on: November 23, 2014, 11:51:07 AM »

"... it is really performing a work of psychological education on the public by breaking down and destroying their previous aesthetic view of what is beautiful in form and meaningful in content. "

— Carl Gustav Jung / The Undiscovered Self / p.77

This is backwards in my opinion.
The public are performing a work of psychological education on the artist, not the other way round. By choosing to focus on specific styles at specific times, and creating patterns through collective agreement, the consumers tell the creators what they hold to be important or relevant.

This 'collective agreement' is usually restricted to cultural boundaries and norms. Truly global agreements are rare, and not usually triggered by art in itself, but accompanied by explicit written messages designed to provoke a response - what we normally call 'advertising'.

All art commentary that originates from groups/individuals trying to interpret for others therefore is 'bullshit wrapped in clingfilm'.

Artists of any genre may like to think that they are wielders of messages, defining meaning for others. All they're doing in reality is creating messages for themselves, and then presenting these personal messages to the public, much like publishing a personal diary.
Sometimes it strikes a chord (and not often for the reasons originally intended), and sometimes it doesn't.

For me this just confirms that the only pure reason to write a piece of music or capture an image is because it means something to me. As soon as I start trying to undertake artistic projects with the express intent of preaching a message to others, I 'll know I finally disappeared up my own arse  ;)
Logged
Pages: 1 [2]   Go Up