Thursday, May 30, 2024

Thursday Thoughts...

“Art is not a passive activity. We have to get involved. Imagination always means involvement, and as soon as your mind is open to a different level of seeing, thinking, hearing, or understanding, you start asking questions.” 

Jeanette Winterson, What is Art for?

Art can definitely be a threshold; a way in, an opening, into different ways of thinking and seeing.  It can challenge us; make us feel uncomfortable, or joyous. The bottom line is it can make us feel.

In terms of passive versus active, I agree that art is often an activator; a catalyst; a thing that sparks another thing. But I also feel as if it can also be passive. It can be something that we sit quietly and absorb, and enjoy. It can offer solace and quietude.

I imagine Ms Winton is trying to shake people up out of  passive observation of art; when it is not about experiencing pleasure by absorbing beauty and calm and peace; but rather the passivity of feeling nothing; of not being moved; of not being interested or involved. 

Disengagement from art means you are not activating your imagination or your responses. You are not asking why does it make me feel that way? You are not wondering how have they achieved that sense of ....? You are not dissecting techniques nor considering is there a call to action in this? 

It feels as if asking questions is critical to understanding and engaging with art.

Flowers by Wotje Weavers 2021

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