I believe there's a good way to rant and there's a bad way to rant. I do both.
There's ranting about something you understand and there's ranting about something you don't understand. Some of my rantings about art are a combination of the two. The rest is bad. To be honest, I don't understand a lot of art, especially the more recent periods (recent being from 1200 AD to present). That is the point where it all runs together for me and I don't understand much. I think there's too much focus on the paintings as art pre-1200 spans across the spectrum from worshiping items to bowls to weapons to prosthetic toes.
Not to be confused with the Etruscan ritual toes, which weren't prosthetic.
That being said, art now is incredibly controversial. Is a chair art? Is it meant to be? A chair or bowl from the neolithic era might be considered art to some, but not to another person. That being said, paintings on the walls of Egyptian palaces are certainly appreciated as art, and if made today would be considered art. But people back then saw it as a history book. And I bet many an Egyptian student was bored sick of them by third grade.
A photo can be art, a fresco can be art, an amazing computer can be art.
I think that now I'm finally beginning to understand the concept behind what whatsherface said in that book somewhere (descriptive, aren't I?) about certain things not being art that we can hold dear in our hearts as being art. And this is probably the reason why we have things we consider High Art (think Mona Lisa).
Then we get into Modern Art, where we have toilets and green canvases being called art.
Probably is. Might not be. Depends on a number of things. Was it made to be displayed, does it have meaning, does the meaning matter, does it matter if the meaning matters assuming it has a meaning?
I do, however, understand a lot of film because I've immersed myself into it. I know how it works, I know what goes into it, and I've made some myself. And for how much I hate modern art, I've made some of that too. Look at my friggin masks. But I digress.
One of my guilty loves (love, not pleasure, love) is Monster Movies (capitalized). I love them. But at the same time I know it's a genre that is almost completely dead. And there's a lot of crap to sift through (Lake Placid 2). But when you find a good one (Cloverfield), or see a classic (Valley of Gwangi), it's amazing. A lot of people wouldn't agree with me that Godzilla vs. Gigan is one of the most fun films ever made to watch (if not THE most fun), but then you haven't experienced it the same way I have.
That being said, I've never been passionate about art that I've seen outside of what I've been exposed to as a History Nut. I don't understand it, and when I don't understand something, I get frustrated and sometimes resort to ranting. But there's a difference to ranting about what I understand and don't understand.
Take my little bitching about the Inaugural Poem. I know my literature. I know my poetry, especially epic poetry. But poetry has been beaten to death by the last two or three generations that it's hardly worth expressing with anymore. Poets like Langston Hughes, while very good, have jaded me to the medium. I've written one poem, it won an award, and then I never went back to it. Never was inspired that way again, and never considered myself a poet.
I took a class on literature in college and realized that the teacher wouldn't talk about a single white male poet or author. While Langston Hughes and other minority poets and novelists were shoved down my throat seemingly to feed my white guilt, important authors such as Robert Frost, John Milton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and a million other authors were skipped.
So, when I saw the inauguration and saw more of the same racist bullshit, I flipped my lid. "When White will embrace what is right?" What the fuck, man. Fuck yourself and your alienating bullshit.
So I bitched the poem, purposefully not understanding it. I can't agree with a Praise Song with the theme of changing our ways and walking forward with appreciation when all we're doing is walking backward with the illusion we're doing the opposite. We're stuck on the race issue like we have been for the past 200 years, and it's honestly quite sad. I'll probably have a more detailed blog post on this later.
And that's my self explanation for now. Some of this may have been bad ranting, much of it was good ranting. As I said earlier, I do both. And I know it. Sorry if I offend.
Updated Art History 1102 Syllabus Spring 2018
2 months ago