Does art take place independently of the artist?

English: French artist Marcel Duchamp (1887-19...

English: French artist Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) Ελληνικά: Ο Γάλλος καλλιτέχνης Μαρσέλ Ντυσάν (1887-1968) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An interesting quote from Brainpickings taken from Duchamp‘s own reading

“Let us consider two important factors, the two poles of the creation of art: the artist on the one hand, and on the other the spectator who later becomes the posterity.

To all appearances, the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing.

If we give the attributes of a medium to the artist, we must then deny him the state of consciousness on the esthetic plane about what he is doing or why he is doing it. All his decisions in the artistic execution of the work rest with pure intuition and cannot be translated into a self-analysis, spoken or written, or even thought out.

T.S. Eliot, in his essay on ‘Tradition and Individual Talent,’ writes: ‘The more perfect the artist, the more completely separate in him will be the man who suffers and the mind which creates; the more perfectly will the mind digest and transmute the passions which are its material.’

Millions of artists create; only a few thousands are discussed or accepted by the spectator and many less again are consecrated by posterity.

In the last analysis, the artist may shout from all the rooftops that he is a genius: he will have to wait for the verdict of the spectator in order that his declarations take a social value and that, finally, posterity includes him in the primers of Artist History”

You mean to say the artist has no say in his art? And he is a mere medium for a big transformation that is taking place somewhere and he has absolutely no idea why his art takes place and why now? Here we are not talking about aesthetic distancing that involves removal of a subjective perception by the artist.Here we are saying that art takes place independently of the artist , who is a mere medium for the art execution. There is a point in saying that what the artist independently says to himself has no significance without its acceptance by a posterity and only when its  consecration by a future happen does art really take place. The timing of the act of art can therefore be said to be much later , even sometimes posthumous to the artist.

But this does not explain why and how art originates. At what point of cultural evolution does a transformation take place? How is the medium chosen by nature , if indeed it is chosen by some mysterious force at work in human nature.

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One comment on “Does art take place independently of the artist?

  1. […] Does art take place independently of the artist? ( Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

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