Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Stoned Art

2Day's InsPiratioN questions the relevance of permanence in art and our own fast paced changing world where thought and ideas must be flexible but invariably fleeting and tenuous.
The earliest stone age painted pebbles (to expand on my earlier theme of little canvases) were found in the South of France and in the States (see the picture above, courtesy of www.sulross.edu/~cbbs/photos/pebbles.jpg) with a variety of symbolic marks that expressed or recorded a thought, a feeling, a moment or an idea. The permanence of the stone has carried its artist's expression through to our own age; will our own work stand the same test of time? In his essay Should Art be Destroyed? Paul Treanor speculates on this permanence: Art, whatever its definition, has certain characteristics. It is equivalent to an entity perpetuating itself across generations. As a result, it is permanent. Art also implies certain value claims, about the precedence of accumulative creativity over destruction, which can not be ethically legitimised....


MadSilence said...

If culture isn't permanent, how can art be? Susan Sontag, in her essay "An Argument About Beauty," describes the beauty of the ephemeral: “Permanence…is not one of beauty’s more obvious attributes; and the contemplation of beauty…may be wreathed in pathos…” Sontag was a great fan of cherry blossom season in Japan, and the transient nature of those beautiful blossoms. There's a poignancy to ephemeral beauty that heightens the aesthetic experience. A number of contemporary artists dwell on this issue (Andy Goldsworthy for one).

The Governess Confesses said...

Nice point. The buddhist would argue that nothing is permanent; that the very act of "being" is an illusion. Thus, anything that we create is as much an illusion as we are ourselves.