Ideas and silence

"...Art is not about ideas. Ideas are good for writers. We cannot work with ideas. An artwork is not artwork is intuited, it is never understood or known. That keeps it strong throughout history. It will not endure if it is made to be understood. To be understood, you will just be a narrative piece of, no, no. What it is that makes a viewer silent is the question we should be asking. We know we have to listen to ourselves in silence because what we are looking at reflects this silence. I don't know where it affects the viewer, maybe not in the mind or in the heart, maybe not in the sex. Maybe in the stomach. But the work pushes you to this silence and makes it part of you when you look at it. Something must be real about it. But where can we find this image? Where can we find this energy? So, as artists, we have to ask ourselves whether we will be able to do this, or whether we are just producers of artefacts. I really don't know."

-Pedro Cabrita Reis, Portuguese artist, in Modern Painters, November 2005. (Reis's current exhibit)

Dale Zimmer  – (Wednesday, 09 November, 2005)  

Have you read Lila: An Inquiry into Morals by Robert Pirsig? What strikes me from his book is the attempt to define or quantify quality and beauty. He combines beauty, truth, quality and god into one force that is the source of everything, and in everything. Therefore, in his philosophy, beauty is perceived before logical thought exists; logical thought is a process entirely separate from quality, and we use it after the fact to attempt to rationalize why we like something or think something has quality. An artist or writer can follow every rule ever given by successful writers/artists, and yet the piece produced can still be crap. Artistic beauty is more than every design principle ever postulated. At least that's how I understand his ideas. He uses logic to show that Western philosophy contains unsolvable contradictions that render it impotent and insufficient. Then he creates his own philosophy from a mixture of Eastern philosophy, Native American thought and other sources.

I should read it again sometime. I enjoyed it immensely the first time.

GIERSCHICK  – (Wednesday, 09 November, 2005)  

Yes, this book passed through my consciousness once, a while back and sounded great, but...ended up on the dustbin of good intentions. I'm stumbling through about five other books right now, but this one sounds wonderful; I'll have to look for it.

Since we're on the subject of books, have you seen W. Berry's Citizenship Papers? Good stuff.

Dale Zimmer  – (Wednesday, 09 November, 2005)  

Yes, I did have that at some point and enjoyed what I read.

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