grist

 

Saturday, August 10, 2002
A work of art is created when an individual or group is compelled to convey an experience that is particularly his or theirs. Such an urge might very well have been provoked, and usually is, by contact with an influence or model that acts as a catalyst. Even so, the more significant a work of art, the more marked will be the elements of revolt, the destructive tendencies, even in regard to the work that served as a prototype.

This is from a study of Gothic cathedral architecture and though I disagree with the premise of the model (which makes the art seem more insular and referential that it seems to me it ought to be), I think the ending dynamic is an interesting one, particularly in the question of what is destructive and what is destroyed? What elements or threads are brought forward and what are necessarily removed? There are some hackneyed threads of this discussion (son kills the father; nothing original has been written since Shakespeare, etc.), but some fresh ones as well. I think a wealth of art in the recent past has focused on the necessary destructiveness without moving substantively beyond it--has defined through rejection and violence and space that refers back to its inspirations.

I think some newer art, particularly some sculptural spaces on the boundaries between sculpture and architecture are finding ground again that is re-shaping through revolt some of the experiential shape of art through our perceptions of it in ways that are not simply out destroying what existed before, but by bringing forth some older threads that balance the elements in revolt with some more stable, less intellectual perhaps, more human.



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