Friday, 19 November 2010

Artistic Tergiversation



The first academy was created by Plato. It was the name given to his school as a means to separate it from his Master's ( Socrates) lyceum. Nowadays different academies have been recreated. I won't talk about English academies, which are just semi-private schools. I will talk about art academies and French academies. They are not open to anyone. The entry selection relates them to Plato more than to Socrates. There is this elite position of being able to judge someone's artistic qualities.

This simple initial process prevents changes. There is this totalitarian ideal in Plato's republic, where a Philosopher-King knows better than anyone else. Now, if someone is chosen by this Philosopher-King, it is an honour that when once accepted and legitimized the King's position. No one thinks they don't deserve some honour, some recognition.

But we find at academies different people arguing about different positions. This idea of different people joined to discuss each other's art is an ideal to work on. Reflection behind art provides it with the force for change and a quality going beyond aesthetic.

In the world of ideas though, some are more consistent than others. The extent to which consistency provides quality goes only as far as if the ideas need to be put in practice.

So what is this force beyond aesthetics and consistency ? It is an impossible possibility mirroring our world. A yardstick amongst many helping us to compare our world. It is the force of the virtual, an ideal freedom which can't exist in a secular world.

Would Plato appreciate this idea ? Probably not, as for him, ideas have a hierarchy and are only important if expressed clearly. He had no patience for poets.

Couldn't a beautiful place of art be a Socratic lyceum where only questions are asked, without judgement, just because questions hold more answers than an affirmation? Socrates asked anybody and everybody his questions. If we'd ask everybody to create, wouldn't we offer a tool for every individual's self-development and confidence in the hidden power of art?

For a century now, we have given the tool to read and write to everybody. We are slowly coming to understand that no language is more powerful than another. There are some skills involved in communicating with art, but like anything, practice is the only secret for results.

Shame is probably a symbolically violent tool of the elite to prevent an egalitarian approach to art. Who doesn't think that they are crap at what they try a first time, and therefore doesn't have the courage to persevere, to offer the world what they have imagined ?

Down with shame! If it is balanced by lucidity and sincerity with one-self. Imagine a possibility, an alternative, an original idea, take the tool of your choice (if you don't know your tool, find it, it is the one you love) and practice at representing that idea so you can offer it to humanity exactly as you've imagined it.

In our world now, we have to admit it is great to be part of a collective beautiful and powerful project to produce an unreal. There are some factions who want to have some supremacy, but history has proven elitists wrong, constantly. The only person who can account for the question of the quality of a given piece of art is the artist him-self. Ideas are not attached to reality, can be but are not, and are therefore all worthy of being explored through different lenses and presented as a goal to extend our limitless minds.

Nothing is bad doesn't mean nothing is good in art, only that it is all good.
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