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Lesson Plans

More context and meaning

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Betty Bowen (
Fri, 5 Mar 1999 13:59:14 -0600

>What he or she often discovers
>is that their intention at the moment of creation wasn't clear to them

It is a common misconception that all artists know what they're going to
make before they make it. That is certainly one way to make art, but we
don't all follow it. Some artists (as you know) do a great deal of advance
work, some of us don't. We jump right into the middle of things then have to
fight our way out.

We're also the ones who don't tend to expect the audience to know what we're
getting at. That certainly doesn't mean the work has no meaning, but it
means I welcome you bringing your own meaning to it - just don't tell
everybody it IS "about" what YOU decide it's "about".

But, when you say "them", do you mean you meet ARTISTS who haven't
previously realized they don't know the intention at the moment of creation,
or do you mean the students realize that artists don't always know that. If
the artists tell you that, do you really believe them? I'd be skeptical.

>and that it often changes and moves in relationship to the audience.
>The artist does not stagnate in relationship to the work in other words.

Agreed. However, I don't think the meaning of the work changes, but the
audience's perception of the work may certainly change.
The artist's understanding of the work may change dramatically over time,
because we don't always realize what's going on with us while we're in it.
We might look back in a few years and think "Well!, that was THAT all
about!" "what was I THINKING???"