Dec 15, 1997 12:40 PM
I am grad you got interested in our artie talk. I also got very much
interested in your writing.
>Keith: I haven't been following this thread closely and I'm not sure I CAN.
>I guess this is what is known as a "serious" discussion of theosophy and art
>as opposed to our present popular music and movies. I will try to get in on
>this but I fear that so much of the de-constructionist activity of
>theosphically inspired modern art and brought us to the point where anything
>means eveything and nothing in a nihlistic swirling mess of symbols that
>don't attach to meaning or anything. The sex, drugs and rock and roll art
>of MTV is the result of a lot of Picasso, Kandinsky and Modrian type >playing
>around - not that I'm against it. But in classical time art was supposed to
>introduce the order of the divine realms into eveyday life. If course art
>can sink to propaganda which is worse. Think of all the socialist realism.
You say our 'serious' discussion is "opposed to our present popular
music and movies." You mean our (Thoa's and my) attitude towards this
topic is far more 'serious' than present people's attitude towards
popular music and movies? Or the seriousness of the discussion between
theosophy and art is in contrast to the 'unseriousness' of the present
popular music and movies? I think you mean the latter. To be sure, our
attitude towards popular music and so on cannot be said 'serious' one.
However, when we feel 'flow' of rhythm and are absorbed into the music
or movie, can you say we are not 'serious'? For example in Disco people
are dancing merged into the flow of rhythm, almost lost themselves. In
that way people can be open keeping 'seriousness' in themselves. I use
'seriousness' in the sense that people are aware of what they are doing.
Mondrian himself was very famous for his partial to jazz and dancing. He
himself was a very (IT(Jskillful(IU(J dancer (some of his friends describe his
way of dancing was (IT(Junique(IU(J, though) and saw in jazz the ideal essence
of modern life. He admired the open atmosphere of jazz club and even
mentioned that in the new museum the jazz band should play in the
To Mondrian art is upmost precious activity in human society (but still
in progress) and should be closely connected to everyday life. He
thought his own studio, which was his living world as well, as an
extension of his canvas and decorated with the primary colour square
plates. In this sense he was one of (IT(Javant-garde(IU(J artists who seek for
the close connection between art and life. But still, as you pointed
out, there are problems in that modern art itself has been taken as
aloofness beyond everyday life. To this view art critics and
institutionalized museum and gallery system must have a responsibility.
Since the museum system was introduced in France, the beginning of 19
century, art works have become the objects which are exhibited in the
museum or art gallery. The prevalence of the system can be said to have
spurred the detachment of art from the living world. On the other hand
the so-called European avant-garde artists in the early this century
intended that, as art historian Peter B$B]S(Jger points out, (IR(Jart was not to
be simply destroyed, but transferred to the praxis of life where it
would be preserved, albeit in a changed form.(IS(J (Peter B$B]S(Jger, (IR(JTheory of
the Avant-Garde, Manchester University Press, 1984, p. 49). If Art still
remains (IT(Jhigh(IU(J art and aloof from our present everyday life, the
attempts of avant-gardists can be said to have been failed. However,
here (IT(Jfailure(IU(J was not caused by its linking to the popular culture,
but, on the contrary, by the given position (mostly by the institution),
of sanctuary, that is arena of (IT(Jart for art(IU(J.
In this sense my interpretation of modern art seems to be different from
yours. The responsibility for the (IT(Jfailure(IU(J cannot be assigned to the
works of Picaso, Kandinsky, Mondrian, but to our attitude towards art.
It is we ourselves, I believe, that give (IR(Jthe order of the divine realms
(IS(J (if you want) to everyday life through art. I am not protecting the
modern artists, but I want to say that unless we become aware of our
prejudice towards art, art will remain institutionalized art.
>Oh, it's unfortunate (?) to live in interesting times the Chinese say.
I cannot follow this. Who is the Chinese?
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application