Friday, May 16, 2014

Sanctification of the platypus

Do you change the way you appreciate a work depending on what you learn about the artist? Or do you just take every work on its own terms, and judge it independently of anything you might know or learn about the artist? Does knowing the background of the artist make our enjoyment of the art richer? Will a bad work become a good work? Do we judge a work solely by how it affects us? Does knowing about the the artist’s ethical lapses make a good work bad? Does knowing the great qualities of the artist make a bad work more favorable? Do we disqualify a great work when we learn that the artist was immoral? Do we eagerly read a bad novel when we learn that its author lived an exemplary life? Jean Genet was a criminal, a thief, a rapist, yet wrote novels and poetry and plays of such beauty and splendor that Sartre called him a saint. Artists are human; flawed and problematic. There are few artists who don’t have some skeletons we would find troublesome; as there are few humans who don’t. If you remove all art from consideration from artists we would find objectionable, we would be left with few works. If you limited yourself to food from countries whose politics you agreed with, you’d starve. We are all compromised. We are all flawed. None of us exempt. We accommodate as we can, to get by in this world. Perhaps we can do no else.


TOTEM from caleb wood on Vimeo.


Dave Roel.
Listen a hundred times; ponder a thousand times; speak once.
- Turkish proverb

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