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Lesson Plans


meaning/intention

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
marcia m eaton (marciameaton)
Wed, 17 Feb 1999 04:03:21 -0500


I've enjoyed the discussion about intention and have to throw in my two
cents. Certainly artists often are reluctant to talk about what they were
trying to do, but to say "it doesn't matter" seems strange to me. First of
all, there must be an intention to create something; otherwise why both.
Also I would be very surprised if there was not an intention to create some
reponse or other. Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I am impatient with pure
self-expression. If it exists, why should I bother with it? If someone
wants merely to express himself or herself, why would he or she want the
work put on display? The act of sharing what one expresses begins to be an
act of communication---and communication implies some message however
minimal. There certainly may be artworks that simply produce sensual
pleasure, but to reduce all art to this is to demean much of human
activity. To say that we don't have to care about what an artist who
produces an altarpiece or sand painting or mandala is doing is to ignore
cultural values as well as individual endeavors. I think we go to art for
insights that artists have that we think are valuable to "get"---everything
from ways of thinking about human relationships to ways of thinking how oil
paint reveals layers below. Otherwise, why bother? Marcia