2004/10/31

After the pictures, the words.

In the last months, I gave copy of 49 of my works.
Those of you who followed my daily, or about daily, presentations know already that this year, I concentrated on the painting of a serie of acrylics of which I posted copy of the first 24. I'am still working on 8 more. I call this acrylic serie my ARTSENSE collection for it accompanies or should I say, it is accompanied by a book that I titled ARTSENSE. You can read the introduction and the table of content by clicking the copy of the black rectangle coverpage of ARTSENSE that is located in the upper left corner of your display.

The ARTSENSE collection of 32 paintings goes hand in hand with the book, indeed, they both relate to the same subject: my sense of what art will be all about in the 21st century. Whow this is a word that will draw much scepticism, I bet.

So what is art going to be all about in the 21st century?
As a simple answer to that question I would point:

FIRST, to the history of art that illustrates the perdurance of an identical meaning of art for individuals and societies alike along the tens of thousands of years going back to the origin of humanity. Art has indeed played as illustrator or as diffusor, at the attention of the individuals in any societies, of the worldview of those who detained the knowledge and power in those societies. This rule has been valid from animist societies to religious societies. In those times, artists were considered as technicians. Painters were considered as image making technicians obeying the orders of their commissioners.
That was bound to break down with the demise of the religious age at the contact of the first emerging abstract system of thinking that would give all those who learn to practice its rational inner working the power of self determination, the power of free examination . This is when artists started to paint for themselves, expressing their personal ideas and feelings about reality.

SECOND, the intellectual power of self determination allows who has this power to devise his own worldview. Artistic substance is about the peeling of reality and this requires the adequate knowledge. Sure enough, as in earlier times, the visual artist had to master a technique at rendering visual images. But the most striking difference with his peers in earlier times, is that the visual artists is not any further being told the substance of the image to be represented. In other words, the painter now has also to fill in the content of the image.

Sure enough, conceiving a whole new worldview is not the same as peeling an orange. Peeling reality is indeed far more complex and requires a very different set of knowledge than what was traditionally required from a painter. So we should thus not be surprised that painters experienced a rude awakening labouring after the watering down of imposed subjects. Their rejection of past ways of doing after the first world war did not automatically lead to the conception and the birth of artistic substance. Most of their pregnancies along the 20th century have only been nervous pregnancies that drove many of them into psychic breakdowns.

THIRD, after accepting this basic fact that art is the representation of the current worldview, the idea of peeling our present reality cries for the knives and brushes of present day knowledge. Do visual artists have such a kind of knowledge? It is a given fact that most don't and are thus left with only 2 alternatives: or give images of past worldviews, or try to impose bullshit as art. Both alternatives have nothing to do with art creation. Images of past worldviews are commodities for the interior decoration market and bullshit should be reserved for the nourishment of dirt.
So what? What is art to be in the 21st century?
I have an advice. Go check the images at the sites that I link to under the title SCIENTIFIC IMAGING in the column on the left. They are images by present day people of knowledge, I mean by scientists. Are those artistic works? Most are not really art works but they are far better at giving us a sense of what art will be in the 21st century than most visual creations given by artists. Sure enough, science is only one approach of knowledge, the other is philosophy and both sciences and philosophy will continue to interact upon each other to generate knowledge.
I gave a personal shot at trying to render artistic images of our times in my acrylics collection. It's a shot, how far was I from the objective, well all of you can decide about that.

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