Do not stop sharing your ideas about beauty, but I’m going to toss out another topic for discussion.
One of the things I am interested in talking about in conjunction with the exhibition is how art contributes to the conversation about global environmental health. Because, you know, it’s art. It’s not photojournalism, it’s not advertising, it’s not activism. It’s not usually prescriptive and it is often ambiguous. So then what does it do? I started thinking about it in relationship to science. Scientists make and test hypotheses about the world, then see if they can consistently reproduce the same results. As a culture, we are heavily invested in our belief in this Artists also ask a lot of questions but they don’t often present us with clear answers or conclusions. What’s the point of an inquiry that doesn’t result in a solution? The conclusion that I came to is that art isn’t about finding answers but it is about finding truths. Because art speaks to us as individuals, one-on-one, it’s a very direct and private form of communication, one that each of us has to participate in actively. Artists hand us their questions to ponder and to share with others. By being nonverbal, open-ended, and personal, visual art can bypass our overactive brains and get under our skins, affecting us in a visceral way that cold, hard facts cannot.
Does that ring true for any of you? What do you see as art’s role in society?