Today’s class in itself had an element of critical thought and action as it added more layers by recapitulating points discussed in the previous sessions. It widened our views about the role artist played in this malleable world of ours.
When it comes to the new concepts that came to light, I especially liked one quote by Olivia Gude which aptly described the dual awareness possessed by artists, one which is conscious of our inner experience and the other, which encompasses interactions with the outer world.
She also goes on to say ,”a pre-condition for fully joining in the democratic life is the ability to sustain a sense of identity when not immersed in a collective.” This made me contemplate on the concept of originality of an art work, or any idea for that matter. Omnis-cellula-e-cellula. A cell originates from a pre-existing cell. Each idea we have is always a reconstruction of a prior one. I wonder if there can ever be complete originality when it comes to creation. It is a continuous process of change. One provided by the previous generations. Our basic foundation to any creation is always set. It already exists. So, how unique are we in our identity? And more importantly, if this originality that we so covet in our work, is indeed even a necessity when it doesn’t exist?
The concepts of public pedagogy and the pedagogical turn that contemporary art is now taking, gave us an insight into how the changing sensibilities are in turn widening the ways of information realisation by the masses.
Paul Chan’s quote about artists knowing a world unlike any other seems to resonate with my point of people fearing the unknown and the ability of artists to appreciate as well as interpret it. Picasso wisely states that all of us were born artists, but only a select few choose to remain artists. Does this mean that at a subconscious level, every single one of us has it in us to inhabit that third world of the infinite unknowns? Where our knowledge lies in our acceptance of all things unknown? Where art becomes our channel as well as our destination?