• Cavacava
    2.4k

    Why do we still read Homer and other ancient writers? I think that there must be something timeless about them, something quintessential. Or, are we just recycling the canons of art due to someone else's tastes? I admit that with open canons we must agree that tastes play important roles in creating our interests, even if we end up opening our hearts and thoughts to other art. What say ye?


    Homer's works, the Iliad & the Odyssey (songs) still enwrap our imagination, they take us into their world of magic, life & death, love and hate; all the human emotions, these works still 'sing' to me. Great works of art hit chords that reverberate in us, these works have a dynamism, a spirit that pierces our sense of reality and suspend it, they remain relevant in spite of the passage of history. These works jut out at us over the millennia, they retain their spirit, in spite of our progress, and technology because they reflect essential truths about what it means to be human in a way that can't be surpassed, can't be reproduced.

    Art as a medium evolves/moves dialectically. What came before must be repudiated, overturned and surpassed, but in doing so what is surpassed is not lost. Society demands 'new', Rimbaud's "It is necessary to be absolutely modern" has always held.
  • jkop
    533
    "It is necessary to be absolutely modern" has always held.Cavacava
    It is not necessary to be a Hegelian, nor a Modernist.
  • Cavacava
    2.4k


    Just to be clear. I agree with dialectical materialism, which while derivative of Hegel's thought, is not how he formulated it.
  • jkop
    533


    So what made Rimbaud assert the necessity to be absolutely modern?

    I think it is fairly clear that art is an end in itself, many artists wouldn't care less whether Society expects their art to be modern. We produce and consume art primarily because of its real qualities that we identify and enjoy, regardless of whether they satisfy the ideology of being modern.

    Outside modernised societies it is easy to find art which is not modern, but also inside modernised societies you can find contemporary art which seeks to be eternal rather than fashionably transgressive or whatever it means to be modern.
  • Cavacava
    2.4k

    Rimbaud saw the rise of the middle class, and its ideological demand on the arts for the continual creation of new works. I think he saw the way art is consumed by its audience, how it becomes valued in society. I have not seen this societal attitude change, in fact, I think our technological achievements have accelerated society's desire for the new. It is an ideological fetish and the public is ravenous.

    Not quite sure what you mean when you say:

    Outside modernised societies it is easy to find art which is not modern, but also inside modernised societies you can find contemporary art which seeks to be eternal rather than fashionably transgressive or whatever it means to be modern.

    Perhaps it has to do with the society that nurtures the artist. I think that all art has a political aspect, its development can be with or against the prevailing cultural interests. The artist can confront but I can't see her escaping these interests. The way she thinks, the limits of her thoughts, even her language are loaded with predetermined values common to the culture. She may decry popular values, but that reaction is a reaction, it's not an escape.
  • jkop
    533
    Perhaps it has to do with the society that nurtures the artist.Cavacava

    What society has ever nurtured artists? How could anyone invent anything valuable if the values would be predetermined? Allegedly John Coltrane played his instrument for 17 years with few if any other rewards from it than what he himself could hear. His art emerged from practising the necessary skills, not from predetermined cultural values.

    If you would do art primarily for applause, as a means to satisfy other interests, like being modern, then that's probably all you get. You don't have to love art, nor be interested in art, to be a modern artist.
  • Wmhoerr2
    3
    A few people above have said that there is no "wrong" in art. Well, I have been wandering around the art galleries in Europe for a bit and I saw plenty of "wrong". Most of the early stuff was religious art and the most common by far was Madonna and child. Here the infant Christ always looked very mature and all knowing - nothing like a real baby at all. The crucifixtion varied widely in setting and costume, particularly the costumes of the soldiers. Every scene was unique to the imagination of the individual artist. But worst were the Genesis pictures of Adam and Eve with their improbable fig leaves: they all had belly buttons!!!
  • Terrapin Station
    7.9k
    There's classical music and there's also the Classical period of classical music--the period follows the Baroque period and predates the Romantic period.

    If you look at the common definitions of "classical," it explains why the music came to be known by that term:

    (1) relating to ancient Greek or Latin literature, art, or culture.

    Classical music extended ideas first established in Greek music theory

    (2) (typically of a form of art) regarded as representing an exemplary standard; traditional and long-established in form or style.

    Classical is the traditional form of non-folk music, and as the only type of "formalized" music for many centuries, it was seen as the exemplary standard.

    relating to the first significant period of an area of study.

    Again, classical was the only game in town re a formalized approach to music for many centuries.

    Re why the classical period became the Classical period, if I remember correctly, that was the era when "classical" first came into widespread academic usage for the music, and for one, musicologists of the era wanted to distinguish the then-current stuff from the previous stuff. It's more that the small-c "classical" became the default term for that approach to music overall at a later time. (No guarantee that I'm remembering that correctly, though, and who knows if the professor(s) who told me that initially had it right.)
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