Thursday, February 28, 2019
Popular, Fine, Folk: Making Do and Thinking Out of the Box Essay
at one time upon a time, at the turn of the 20th century, Marcel Duchamp brought a urinal into the museum. As expected, it was banned from beingness shown in a major exhibition at that time. To mean solar day, the urinal is called a engraft object, a okay arts year that has operate standard do for contemporary artists, especially those who are working on media and techniques spawned by Duchamps rebellion conceptual art, installations, and the readymade.One of the most famous latter day versions is that of Andy Warhols Campbell soup and Brillo thumpes those mass consumer items that found their federal agency into the domain of the fine arts, and in their turn spawned an otherwise academic art historical category Pop Art. Once upon a time, at the turn of the 19th century, the Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh, who has non sold a single characterisation during his lifetime (with the possible exception of one work bought by his chum salmon Theo), died a pauper. In the 1980s, his Sunflower fetched millions of dollars at an auction.Today, he is not hardly a bestseller he is also considered one of the best artists of all times. Once upon a time, Madonna was just any other upstart, who with her limited forthright range was singing seemingly superficial songs like Like a Virgin and Material Girl. Today, she and her bad girl image, as well as her numerous personas, is the subject of numerous academic papers on touristed culture. This and examples from Charlie Parker, as well Shakespeare, the Shaker furniture, the quilt, Amazing Grace, photography tell us not only that values change through time, some for the better, others for the worse, depending on ones point of view.The much important point is that, part terms like habitual, fine and folk arts are semiprecious as terms of convenience, they are unreliable perhaps even skeletal or unnecessary as terms of judgment or standards, as in say, low and high art, good and bad art, truthful and off-key art, among many other boundaries. On one hand, these boundaries are important because they keep an eye on against extreme relativism, an able indolence that results in people thinking that anything sack be art, and that art is anything and everything that you can get away with.On the other hand, boundaries prevent us from looking at art forms more fecundly, or think out of the box. As Parkers essay suggests, it is more productive to suspend our received judgments or templates if only for a while and psychoanalyse each art form on their own terms as part of certain domains (popular, fine, folk and their combinations) with their own specific dynamics, gatekeepers, institutions, forms and contexts of production, reception, creativity and artwork and their own specific systems of producing and making meanings.These elements domain (popular, fine, folk), field (gatekeepers and institutions), artistry (form, content, context) collide and intersect with each other in an uneven world , characterized by unequal power relations. In this context, extreme relativism that anything and everything can be art is problematic. piece of music it is true that anything say, the urinal can be art, its transformation required a trend from one domain to another from the everyday to the museum, where it was lit and put on a pedestal, was signed and given a title (The Fountain) and in the process, became a candidate for appreciation, contemplation, and later, legitimation by the gatekeepers the people (art historians, critics) and institutions (media, museums, schools) who had the power to rethink its meaning, and confabulate on the urinal the term art, under the rubric found object, readymade, conceptual art. much(prenominal) legitimation was later confirmed by artistic, critical and curatorial go for today, the Fountain, which started out as a rebellion against art and its definitions, is at one time ironically an academic, art historical and critical orthodoxy. Bound aries between domains are therefore concurrently porous and self-contained. Everyday objects enter the fine arts, and vice versa. What used to be folk and popular, as in Shakespeare and Bob Dylan are now classics.When the urinal became The Fountain, it ceased to become a mundane object and entered the domain of the museum and the academe, subject to their terms and conditions. When elements of popular culture the Brillo box, Campbell soup cut across the boundaries, it became an art-historical category Pop Art. And when Madonna crossed over from the Billboard charts to academe, her feminist radical potential was recognized, hardly at the same time, again quite ironically, tamed because her pop rebellion is now academic.Parker mapped the domains according to class fine arts is a product of the elite, folk, of jet folk and popular, of the masses. In real life of course, soap operas (popular) are viewed by different classes and sub-classes jazz and hip hop, which started out in t he ghettos were co-opted by American Top 40s the Mona Lisa, the epitome of the Classic Masterpiece, found and continue to settle its way into t-shirts and tabletops.Thus, instead of bemoaning that standards of excellence are being eroded, it may be more productive to chart these movements of objects and images, not only in terms of content, conceptualisation or truths that they contain, as question No. 3 leads us to guess, but also in terms of how these truths are expressed (form), and the circumstances at bottom which these truths are produced (context).Put another way, instead of persuading the masses that Hamlet is as entertaining as My Fair Lady, it would probably be better to find out why and how My Fair Lady ticks today and why and how Hamlet, which caught the inclination of royalties and subjects alike, clicked during the Elizabethan period and no longer does so today. I suspect this is not because standards of excellence have waned it is just that each epoch, age, socie ty and culture has its own way of defining, producing, valuing, consuming and receiving art.To be an intellectual therefore does not mean, being the kind of intellectual espoused by Arendt, one who imposes a top-down approach imposing Hamlet on the masses, for instance. Instead, we need the kind of intellectual who will sit in front of the TV set, watch close to everything from the seemingly most idiotic sitcoms to the most enlightening art take on and analyze and read the pictures, images and mediums, according to an oppositional and critical frame that works from and within, not from without and from the top.In other words, this is the kind of intellectual that challenges what is and sets out to suggest what is possible, not by imposing so-called alternatives (Hamlet instead of My Fair Lady), but by a process called bricolage a process of thinking out of the box by making do with, pilfering, borrowing, and reconfiguring what is available, after a sensitive, critical and tot al analysis based on the parameters of form, content, context and domain, field and artist.