The real, the shadow, and the true.
October 19, 2011 § 2 Comments
What distinguishes the artist, or writer, or poet from the critic is that the artist doesn’t have to, and in fact shouldn’t think in categories. He doesn’t have to move inside a bordered territory, she doesn’t have to name the new places she goes, he can remain a wanderer and explorer or anything he likes but a conqueror. The artist moves freely between the “real” image and its shadow because she recognizes that they’re both true (I’m really sorry for this uncle Plato) and equally worth existing and witnessed. If the artist is lucky enough, he can also live his private life in accordance with the freedom he experiences in his artistic life, but this is difficult and seldom in both cases.
Real artistic freedom is very rare and in a world which is mercilessly categorized and meticulously bordered is certainly also not really appreciated and even scary. Most artists voluntarily jump into the role of a critic and try to find a name and place for their art to exist. It’s a mistake which causes too much stress and a creative block to some artists or makes others very rich (but happy too?) in a society which is mostly relieved to get the answers served together with the questions. There are of course also exceptions, like Gerhard Richter, who’s been an artist without artistic borders, relentlessly moving from one art form to the next for more than fifty years, constantly claiming his artistic freedom and parallel earning lots of money with it. [One of his Candles, “Kerze”, was sold for more than 12 million Euro at Christie’s this October. The artist himself found the amount of money payed for his art work “absurd”.]
And we, as spectators or readers, should we see art or read literature as a critic or should we try to taste a bit of this rare freedom when we detect it? I really believe that freedom is contagious because it is best compatible with the human soul, so there is a good chance we can then see art and read literature as an artist and poet ourselves. Best example is that all these thoughts were born by looking at this one photograph.