Sunday, February 16, 2014

a year of silence


  Many artworks have been misinterpreted by quick, subjective analysis. People breeze by paintings in a gallery, never stopping to fully engage any one piece. They form quick, superficial opinions based on their own ideologies, that are purely subjective and rarely accurate.
  I am experiencing similar circumstances as i continue with my experiment in silence. Only one person, out of the many i have encountered, has engaged me for any length of time to investigate the context of my endeavor. People have reacted with fear, anger, sympathy and apathy, but very little curiosity.
  This piece is not the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, so i can understand the general disinterest some might feel towards it. I am also very aware of the human tendency to feel sympathetic towards someone they think might have a physical impairment. But the reactions of fear and anger have me perplexed.


  I think the adage that we hate most what we fear most, is very applicable in assessing
some people's reactions to artwork. Some of the best Art in the world was made as a challenge to commonly held beliefs. When you challenge the beliefs that someone has clung to for a long time, it scares them. Many of us respond with a fight AND flight reaction. We lash out with statements like, "My kid could do that" or "He/she must be crazy". We then attempt to put as much distance between the offensive object/person and ourselves as possible.
  It is far easier to just react subjectively to something and run away from it, than it is to take a moment to interact with it and maybe learn something new. I think the language of Art is wonderfully complex and rewarding. It is definitely well worth the time to learn.
  However, we live in an age of instant gratification and simple entertainment. So much is out there that will safely confirm what we already believe and make us feel comfortably secure with what we already know. Studying something new and trying to unfold its meaning can be challenging and time consuming, subjective judgment is much more convenient.

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