| 23 March, 2011 21:05
The other day I posted this statement by the artist Robert Rauschenberg on Facebook. At first, it seemed a simple enough idea and I thought it interesting because it waxed philosophical and I have posted similar statements before. A day or two later, the question was raised that if art or life can’t be made, then how can they exist? I thought this a good question and it got me to thinking. The short answer, in my opinion at least, is that Rauschenberg was referring to art and life as experiences. The other party in our Facebook conversation seems to disagree. But that’s OK. In fact I’m sort of glad of it because it got me thinking about the whole thing in more depth and I began to dissect the idea. In case you hadn’t guessed, I love this sort of thing, so here is my long answer.
My position is that both life and Art (with a capitol “A” meaning all Art including literature, music, poetry etc.)
Are individual experiences. No two individuals have the same life experiences therefore no two individuals can have the same Art experiences. A colleague will see my work in a totally different light than someone who’s life experiences have led them down a different path. When a viewer looks at my work, his or her reaction to it is a result of an infinite number of other life experiences. Some of which, on the surface, may appear to have nothing to do with his or her particular reaction. In fact, if this same person goes away and comes back tomorrow, the Art experience could be completely different. In this sense, I agree with Rauschenberg.
The artist cannot create the Art experience, he or she can only create the catalyst for it.
Anyway, this is where I stand. If you have a thought or two on the subject, weather you agree with me or not, it would be interesting to hear from you. As I said before, I love this sort of thing.