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Re: All art is spiritual

Jan 24, 1998 01:26 PM
by Mark Kusek

> Keith wrote
> Dear Mark: I think we could agree quickly on
> this, that is art is not paint or music on paper, but the total experience
> of the communication of the artist with the viewer/listener.

Right. Generally, I believe that every expression is a human being's
attempt to cultivate himself/herself, whether consciously or
unconsciously and at whatever level of human experience. To express is a
natural need. With that in mind, I can look at any artwork, no matter
how weird or banal to me, and accept it as valid. I may or may not like
or understand it, but I can validate it on those grounds and acknowledge
the rights of the person to made it.

> The question is not if it IS spiritual, but spiritual on what level and to
> what motive and effect.  Breifly pornography is spirutal in a NEGATIVE sense
> of bringing the total person down to the level of physical OBJECT.  Erotic
> art can be of high spirutality, as it is in the East in the temple of ANGOR
> WAT for example, wouldn't you say?

Yep. Intention is everything. I love the sculptures on the temple at
ANGOR WAT; very sexy. You don't see enough spirituality depicted in
sexual terms in the West. We've been taught to be so freaked out and
ashamed about it. I may be wrong, but I think I read somewhere (Joesph
Campbell?) that the sculptures are only found on the outside of the
temple walls and a little bit inside. As the worshipper progresses
inward, they gradually dissappear until in the central inner chamber,
there is nothing at all. From ecstatic forms of love to the formless.
What abeautiful idea. {If there isn't a temple like that, someone should
build one.}

> Spirituality can only be conveyed in a "psycic-spiritual" way ( I know you
> are going to ask for a defintion, but I think you know this can't be
> defined, usually called THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE).  But art can open the
> laya center, the Jacob's ladder, the Golden Stairs in a way that
> abstractions and words can only shadow.

Abstractions and words can do it too, but you have to know the

It's like in Taoist art, the realization of the void and it's symbol as
blank paper or silk is the ground from which (and in which) all forms
appear (pictorial, calligraphic, etc.) If you can get the void right,
then anything that appears will be in relationship to it, therefore
preserving the ultimate harmony: the void, the form(s) depicted and
everything else that is "not the form(s) depicted." (Yin Yang in Tao.)

The trouble is that most people, artists or not, aren't aware of that
and so, for them, the harmony is unconscious. They only see the
object(s). The expression seems limited.

You know, those Taoist artists only ever make one picture. They keep
painting the Tao over and over and over again. Looks different every
time, but it's still essentially the same picture.

Lao Tsu said it like this:

"Ever desiring, one sees the outward manifestation.
Ever desireless, one sees the mystery."

Desire (or repulsion) is the relation between you and the object.
Desireless is the void.

> Of interest to me now is the notion of the SHEKINAH, as the divine feminine
> receptical of wisdom and love chained in matter until the redemption
> of the unifications of worlds.  The Mona Lisa is an example in fine art,
> logos such as TOMMY HILFIGER are debased hypnotic forms that hook our
> unconsciousness into loving blue jeans and caps, don't ya know?

The logo itself doesn't do that. It's all the other glamour built up and
associated with it that tries to sway us as people on the desire level.
Don't torque yourself out too much about it. You gotta wear something
and it's OK to be a person. Enjoy your culture. It's fun. Play with it.

Tommy Hilfiger IS the SHEKINAH, just as you, I and everyone else IS.
When we unify our own interior worlds of Spirit and Matter, we will all
experience HER redemption where WE ARE, no?

Nice talking with you again Keith,
WITHOUT WALLS: An Internet Art Space

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