Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Conscience of Art

With such a title one would half expect some gasbag arranging an event o'erwhelmed with artistes, while standing under, around, between articles and banners with the word "Darfur" emblazoned thereon. There is something about the claimants to art, who, facing doubts and questions rightly posed about their actual gifts, must prove that they have the soul of an artist. A car mechanic would never think of traveling to some sandy place to walk their artificially tanned arse through starving crowds while mentally composing their U.N. testimony. Yep, mechanics can't do that. And, nope, I am not talking about this conscience posing as an artistic soul leaking out of fleshly finite containers due to over filling (but I did enjoy describing it).
Each part of any art betrays that it is art by this function of conscience. Like the conscience that bothers you when you lie to you friends, this conscience is "with (con) knowledge (science). When any portion (a tone, a color, a shape, a placement, a timing) shows that its participation is with knowledge of the other participants, art's conscience has been expressed.
I used to say the parts of arts functioned "in agreement" but, though that explains a lot of successful works (if not most) I think that parts in disagreement can be valid if that disagreement shows knowledge of the other (rather than mere chaos). Art has a conscience. It wrestles across a medium in or on which the artist shows that the various parts can nod politely, rudely, or amorously at the others,... but they will nod.

1 comment:

Philistine said...

Well said.