What do we expect when we enter the theater? Or in the movies? Or when we go to the opera or an art exhibition? What are we doing there? Do we go because educated and cultured people do that? Do we suffer what we have to suffer… an hour, two of confusion or boredom and then we return happily to Netflix or Facebook, calm that we have ticked an “intellectual” task?
Ultimately, I do not know very much about what makes people leave the house on a damp February Thursday to participate in an independent play or a contemporary art exhibition… Or what make others get out for work at five or six, and run to the opening of some cultural venue or book launch – contemporary poetry. But what about the Czech cultural days or the Finnish film days? How the people of the city choose one cultural event depending on another or anything else, I cannot get it. It’s an enigmatic algorithm for me, and I often wonder with surprise how x or y went to that event? In the end, I consider the presence in itself an effort, beyond any complacency, and ultimately, the desire to assimilate intellectually and emotionally an artistic act, as well. I sincerely believe that such efforts make humanity better and more evolved. A minimum interest, over time, has a positive effect. But how does the desire to participate in an artistic event emerge? And why? Why do we make this effort? What do we hope for when we approach the venue of a cultural event? What do we really wish for?
Most are probably looking for some kind of pleasure. Looking for a positive stimulus, something aesthetically pleasing, in any case. Most of them are expecting something beautiful because art means beauty, harmony, tenderness, art is that je ne sais quoi, isn’t it?
Well, art (culture) must not be limited to this aesthetic category. It should not be closed in any aesthetic category. Art can migrate from one aesthetic category to another; it can contain all or none in particular.
Art does not have to be comfortable because it is an element inherent to human life, and not a socio-cultural accessory. It is part of the metabolism of a society, it is a sensitive and active organ to any change of structure or surface in a community. It is strictly related to what an individual thinks, says and does. It’s the menu that humanity creates. People don’t just live the beauty, they don’t just do good, and they don’t just think the truth. Why would art only selectively reflect the positive aspects? Who wants art to be hypocritical?
The creation comes from lived experiences, which then multiply in the sphere of the imaginary, in possible experiences suffered by the author and poured into the content of the artistic product. Of course, the artistic message is transmitted through an aesthetic channel or, let’s say, through an intellectual order of a certain value, but it is not eminently harmonious. Nor does it mean that it deals only with the aesthetics of the ugly. Creation is subordinated to human experiences that are not always tailored to a happy scenario.
Art delivers a message through different iconographic, emotional, visual, intellectual, subconscious elements (forms) and each of these possibilities influences the interlocutor in ways that are difficult to quantify.
Maybe we want art to be an emotional refuge, a warm place where we have a little pleasure, far from the rush of life… but for this we have chocolate, it does not take years of preparation, hours spent in attempts and illusions, insecurity, helplessness, and all the other demons that are unquestionably accompanying creation. An artistic product, be it a book, choreography, music, graphics, a painting, films, can have a well-defined purpose in delighting the spirit, but this delight does not always imply positive emotions for everyone. What is more, most of the time it is even the opposite.
Creation is a process, as it has been said before, it is a road from a to b but the result is not always well defined. To put it another way, it’s like a road back to a place you have been to once, a long time ago, so long ago that you don’t know exactly the whole route, but as you travel along, you recognize landmarks and you realize that even though you don’t know anymore what the place of destination looks like, once you see it you will recognize it. It is like an instant overlap of plans – that of memory with that of reality, that of emotion with that of the image. This juxtaposition creates / produces an artistic object that simply is, exists. The artistic product is addressed to us as long as we want to interact with it. Art demands attention but does not kill for it, and should not be sold for the same reason. Art is a soliloquy in which the public wants to be a reader. We cannot ask creators to produce exclusively emotional beds. Creation molds itself on an instant, in the point of history in which it is born. The context of its creation is often uncomfortable, steep and brutalizing.
Art demands to be seen. Most of the time, that’s enough to make an impact. The state of awareness is one of the most desired effects it can produce. If an artistic result can make us aware of our own indulgence and nothing more, EVRIKA!
In conclusion, I still don’t know what attracts people to art and culture, but I do know what should NOT attract them and what they should NOT expect from a meeting with art / culture :). Meanwhile, the status of art is indisputable: sine qva non!
Hassium by Anca B.