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narrative art. dogmatism it ain't ( from the group w bench)

updated tue 6 jan 04


Craig Dunn Clark on mon 5 jan 04

Eleanor, I've been trying my darndest to stay out of these esoteric
discussions. It's not that I don't think they have merit. It's just that
they always end up with the same old arguments ad naseum. I mean, I mean, I
mean......... here I am sittin on the group W bench minding my own business
and along comes another commentary about "ART" without so much as an attempt
at a definition (or mybe I jumped on the boat a bit late on this one.)
What in the name of providence is a statement such as "art is art"
supposed to mean anyway. Is it kinda like the pablum "art for arts sake"
that I used to hear all the time in art history courses? The dogmatism is
dripping from this one. To limit the discussion and definition in such a
manner as to exclude the story/narrative as a potential distraction is to
reduce ART to a purely visual statement. If anything, it is the visual arts
that are chipping around the edges of the universe of ART. How often have
you seen people moved by a visual piece of art to the extent that the spoken
word, performance or music moves them?
If "ART" is about anything, which I believe it is, then it is my opinion
that it is about communication. The reactions that a particular piece evokes
are entwined in the direct experiences of the viewer. This ain't the case of
the old question about a tree falling in the forest and whether or not a
sound is made if no one is around to hear it.
Much like the sonic vibrations that are created by the falling tree a
piece of ART sends out it's own vibrations as it is made. The finished piece
will continually project itself regardless of whether or not anyone is
around to see it or not. I believe that ART is in the end another attempt to
understand what we are, where we come from and what things are all about.
The various genres to me are variations on these primary themes. In other
words it's the story of life itself.
The story line is the ART. It is the sum total of of the experience of
it's creator. Whether literal, figurative, absract or nonobjective the
result is still an expression of the makers life. Rather than limiting
myself to seeing art in such abstract terms of "art is art" I for one am
interested in the story/experience behind the piece.
Wondering why I'm involving myself in this one
Craig Dunn Clark
619 East 11 1/2 st
Houston, Texas 77008
a potter.....who at times attempts to make art
ha ha ha
ho ho ho
hee hee hee

----- Original Message -----
From: "Vince Pitelka"
Sent: Monday, January 05, 2004 12:44 AM
Subject: Re: narrative art

> > Art is Art -- characterizing it as narrative or not is irrelevant.
> > Knowing the "story" behind a picture or a pot doesn't enhance
> > appreciation of the work and may indeed distract.
> Whoa Eleanor. Your opinions are of course welcome, but the above reads as
> some sort of absolute proclamation. Please do not imply for a minute that
> such a close-minded and limited/limiting statement should apply to anyone
> else. It is curious that you would want to limit the discussion and
> appreciation of art to such a severe degree. What gain is there?
> Best wishes -
> - Vince
> Vince Pitelka
> Appalachian Center for Craft
> Tennessee Technological University
> 1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166
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