June 23, 2013

IF PEOPLE DON'T FIND IT BEAUTIFUL, IT ISN'T ART:

In defence of the public's judgement : A public debate on the point of the arts showed a worrying disdain for art's potential audience. (Alka Sehgal Cuthbert, 6/20/13, spiked)

Furtwangler remarked that public opinion is more volatile and less secure, but that public judgement was the only true test of great music. He went further when he wrote that although time was needed for judgements to be developed, 40 years of the public turning its back on Schoenberg's atonal music was enough to come to the judgement that it was not the public's artistic faculties that were at fault. It was the failure of musicians who were increasingly turning their backs on the tonal forms of classical music.

It is interesting to see how the avowedly elitist Furtwangler actually had a far more positive conception of the public than someone like Jeremy Till, the pro-vice chancellor of Central Saint Martins, one of England's most prestigious art schools. At the event, he was content to complain about 'the man in the pub who complains about his taxes going on art he doesn't understand, and who probably votes for UKIP'.  Such was Till's view of the public.

Till also poured scorn on the idea of art as the pursuit of beauty. His view might have been tenable if there was any evidence of contemporary art that, defying the formal conventions of beauty, still managed to match the sophisticated, complex renditions of human experience conveyed by art in the past. But this is clearly not the case. Hence there continues to be a lot of public interest in the big exhibitions of great art, but far less interest in contemporary offerings.

Posted by at June 23, 2013 9:28 AM
  

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