Thursday, 23 September 2010

Purposiveness Without a Purpose

'Some people advocate a theory of art as ritual: ordinary objects or acts acquire symbolic significance through incorporation into a shared belief system.'

Symbolism is an important re-occurring element of my own art practice as I believe that ritualised, shared recognition of the language of visual symbolism serves as the main grasp of control an artist has over how their work is interpreted and received.

'Artwork that uses blood or urine enters into the public sphere without the context of either well understood ritual significance or artistic redemption through beauty.'

'Hume said that judgements of taste are 'intersubjective' : people with taste tend to agree with each other.  Kant believed that judgements of beauty were universal and grounded in the real world, even though they were not actually 'objective'.'

'Kant noted that we typically apply labels or concepts to the world to classify sensory inputs that suit a purpose.  For example, when I find a round flat thing in the dishwasher that I recognise as a plate, I put it away in the cupboard with other plates, not in the drawer with spoons.  Beautiful objects do not serve ordinary human purposes, as plates and spoons do.'

'Kant's way of recognising this was to say that something beautiful has 'purposiveness without a purpose'.'

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