19 March 2018

Is established art intrisically konservative?

Art lives of breaking the rules. Or so they say...

I propose a more appropriate assertion:

"Art lives of breaking the rules. Inside its established framework!"

True, the transgression of limits has always been a part of art, at least as long as art defined itself as educational. From Brecht, who spelled it right out "Glotzt nicht so romantisch" (Don't gawk so romantically), to Koon's Banality Series. If you don't shock, you don't rock.

But even the boldest crossing of frontiers has almost always happened inside an established medium. Theatre plays do not replace actors with cacti. Painters may replace canvas with plastic but they don't relocate to the cyberspace. Novels are now being published digitally, but they still consist of letters not smells.

In other words, the rooms are being redecorated, but the floorplan stays the same.

Maybe it is because artists have something to loose. Be it reputation, money or patronage. Every renowned artist must cater to the expectations of the audience. Either the existing one or a new one. Art that is too far ahead of its time is art considered only in hindsight.


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