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Lesson Plans

Re: counseling and art

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
JAMES H. SANDERS (jhsander)
Fri, 16 Feb 1996 18:41:15 -0500 (EST)

On Fri, 16 Feb 1996 cruiz wrote:

> In response to Mary Harris's comment about the universal language of
> art......I disagree that art is a universal language. Ther are many
> people that do not have the advantage of the tools to understand art.

Advantages indeed! Do I hear the voice of privilege?
I too might agree with the notion, that there are many culturally embedded
languages of visual information, and that we may lack an understanding of
the meanings attached to those pieces of physical evidence that we call
Art, thereby calling for some serious critical analysis - but, this
should simultaneously consider the validity of difference...

Ms. Harris, I might agree, that like sound, or gesture, perhaps there is
indeed a shared valuing of giving meaning to physical objects. That we
see cultures around the planet embracing the concept of communicating
ideas, and beliefs with those materials that surround them. Perhaps it
may be over reaching to call it a language - but I trust your good
intentions in posing this notion.

> is a visual language but far from universal at this time. Eventually,
> after enough art educators include the language of art that comes through
> the practice of critical analysis withing their curriculaum, then maybe
> we might approach a universal language.

The educator as intellectual savior! (replete with kritical spelling)
Indeed, what an arrogant notion.
To suggest that unless a culture's tool or language use meets a self-serving
standard of European art historic or analytic scrutiny, then it is somehow of
lesser value, is a indefensible position in an age which purports some
form of global awareness. (including the virtual promises of email)

I'm certain, that to those who create a visual language, regardless of
their tools, or their "intellectual" prowess, they participate in the
making of meaning through manipulation of materials. This gesture does
seem universal, regardless of its intent, political, commercial or
religious purpose. Happily, these acts certainly won't require
the endorsement of a culture that demands all of its "Art" be basically
useless. For only in that "uselessness" can it become a commodity fit
for the marketplace. Your critique is at best myoptic, and at worst,
mean spirited (and look whose talkin').

With all due respect, consider doing your post-modern homework. Perhaps
pick up a copy of Suzi Gablik's "The Reenchantment of Art" - look deeply
into your own words and ask if they are doing our culture any service.

> >
Cathy Ruiz > Student, Art Ed.
> University of Arizona

  • Reply: Kathrine L Walker: "Re: art and creative writing"