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Tony Grist

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Ways Of Seeing [Aug. 6th, 2011|01:25 pm]
Tony Grist
Reading John Berger's Marxist critique of the western tradition of oil painting makes me want to go out and torch the art galleries.

And then I remember an academic friend of mine (not a Marxist- but similarly in the grip of a world-view) confessing that the habit of deconstructing art works meant he couldn't enjoy them any more-and this makes me want to go out and burn down the universities instead.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: burkesworks
2011-08-06 02:59 pm (UTC)
I have the complete television series Berger made of Ways of Seeing, if you're interested.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-08-06 03:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I've just read the book of the series- and that's probably enough Berger for the time being. :)
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2011-08-07 11:33 am (UTC)
Aren't we just a firebrand, today?

"Not a Marxist -- but similarly in the grip of a world-view": well put. Marxists are just one of the more conspicuous sub-species, I suspect. I'm far more interested in views of the world than world views, these days.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-08-07 02:34 pm (UTC)
Views of the world can be as wide ranging as you please, world views are limiting- and tantamount to the wearing of blinkers.
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[User Picture]From: wolfshift
2011-08-07 11:52 am (UTC)
Seems to me that if deconstruction ruins one's enjoyment of an art form, one is doing the deconstruction wrong. Done properly, analysis of good art (literature, music, painting, architecture, cuisine, etc.) illuminates the subtleties and nuances that are missed if one "simply enjoys" them.

At least, that's how I approach the study of literature. I enjoy books more once I've discovered the many layers that can be found therein. Perhaps I've a touch of the hubris, but I think I probably enjoy novels a bit more than people who only read pulp fiction and Harlequin romances---because I get much more out of them.

But then, I don't believe that "enjoying" art precludes analysing it.

That said, it does depend on the quality of the art. I would probably "get more out of" the Twilight series than your average adolescent girl, but a lot of what I would "get" would be recognition of its shortcomings, so I wouldn't enjoy it as much as she would, in the same way that I don't enjoy reality television or Big Macs. I don't think, however, that's any significant loss on my part. I don't mind not enjoying cultural artefacts of such calibre.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-08-07 02:55 pm (UTC)
I think my friend's problem was not so much that he was analysing works of art as that he was having to do it for a living.

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