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urgellx
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« on: October 24, 2023 @764.61 »

Hello !
I wanted to talk about a subject that has been annoying me since i started seeing or listening to
art online and i was wondering what people thought of it.

It's about making art and conveying a political message through it.
   Since i started my adolescence, i began to feel like overtly political art has mostly been
without any soul. To me :

An painter is not someone who is qualified to preach the good word to others just because they're
concerned, they're just good at making art. They're not a specialist on social topics, listening or
making political art seems a lot more useless compared to reading a paper on it. We always take the
great examples like Guernica to talk about political art but i'm no Picasso and you're not either.

A good philosophy book will always convey better a message than a song or a painting, sometimes art
can be useful and make people think about an issue but most of the time, since artists aren't
qualified in any way, they just end up looking childish. But i think that even worse than just being
foolish, it's not art for art, it's art to say something. It reminds me of the propaganda images
that my great-grandmother had from WW2, again, it's a bit nuanced since some propaganda art can be
full of soul but since most artists are mediocre in most ways, most of propaganda hinders themselves
artistically by being propaganda and catering to an audience.

I feel like it's more like an advertisement for a cause that someone supports, be it racism in any
way or lgbtq rights. It's a bit hard putting words on it since obviously i'm as qualified as those
artists but i wanted to see the opinions of people other than those who i know who have opinions
that won't really change what i think or the way i think about it.

Please don't take anything as mean-spirited, i'm just a bit confused.

Have a good evening, melon-people ! :dive:
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myleszey
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2023 @779.36 »

I don't know what makes someone 'qualified' to proselytize their views to others. Many artists create art based on the world they see around them and others draw meaning from it.

Also, looking at artwork is a lot easier than reading a paper.
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2023 @840.63 »

I second what myleszey said

If art for art and art to say something are both bad, what would make a good art in your opinion? 🤔

Also Picasso, Goya, Kahlo are all world-famous artists that had very strong political messages on their art. Maybe their messages simply don't resonate with you?
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2023 @854.26 »

i can kinda see both sides, to an extent. but at the same time i think political academia/discussion and art have to go hand in hand. written word and theory often have a different core purpose than visual art, and can communicate some things well, and some not so well with respect to their medium. its difficult to tackle the full complexity of an issue with visual art, but you can capture individual experience and humanity much easier than a book or article.
idk,, i think politics effect this world, everyone lives in it, and we all have a right to have an opinion and express it by whatever means we wish. i feel like art can encapsulate the feelings of struggle, solidarity, and community that more... formal forms kinda lose sight of
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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2023 @878.60 »

something that took me too long to realize is that nobody is an expert on anything. i will die with more experience of a domain than you, and you will die with more experience of a different domain than i. the reasons behind creating vary from person to person, but at their core they're all echos of attempts to understand things. Picasso was as awful an artist (to me) as Aristotle was an awful philosopher (to me); the lecturers at college best me only in having more experience - something that is a product of time. everything a scribe's ever scratched on paper will be thought again by some people who have never read their work, which is why sharing art doesn't actually matter to me. to some: it's all that matters. to some: they're preserving their art instead of sharing it. to some: sharing art is viewing the world through another's eyes, by how they respond. nothing is clear-cut; everything is nuanced.

what you're experiencing is probably confusion about why so many works are political, and why that level of saturation in Political Art affects your perception of the genre so much (what genre?! politics is everywhere!). you're the same as any other person alive who's struggling to grasp why something exists - or maybe you're not! maybe you're telling us why you don't like the Political Art you've seen, and we're deaf to what you say because we are prone to extrapolating our own meanings from what you say - using our own experiences - and projecting them onto your craft.

still, remember that no artist is mediocre. very shallow are critics, journalists and reviewers that grade art by criteria and truly believe what they say. art for the sake of money unfortunately plagues the world.
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2023 @879.50 »

I second what myleszey said

If art for art and art to say something are both bad, what would make a good art in your opinion? 🤔

Also Picasso, Goya, Kahlo are all world-famous artists that had very strong political messages on their art. Maybe their messages simply don't resonate with you?

Now you're asking a tricky question, i would say that good art is something that resonates with you,
that makes you feel the intended emotion. Art for art is good in my book, quite a few artists that i
like do it for the pleasure of doing art instead of delivering a message.

Also, i didn't say that Picasso doesn't resonate with me, i said that we're not Picasso and that
almost nobody can be like Picasso, almost nobody can convey their political message like the ones
you cited. I'm talking about the artist that you see in common galleries, on the internet with
relative fame or on some labels (for music); those artists, to me, have a problem with expressing
their political viewpoint without making their art an obvious mess. I cited Picasso as an example
where it almost was universally accepted that it conveys its political message without feeling
overbearing or too reductive. Like i said in my original post, i'm not Picasso, you're not Picasso,
they're not Picasso. It's like if i was talking about art where the main interest is the common folk
and whether or not they're intriguing enough to get the general public to follow them until the end
and you cite Zola, i'm not talking about the most influential of the most influential masters that
have stood the test of time.
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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2023 @889.85 »

Your argument about good art being something that resonates with an individual and the idea that art can be created for its own sake rather than solely for delivering a message is a valid perspective. Many people indeed appreciate art for its personal and emotional impact, and there's a wide range of art, from purely abstract to highly political, that appeals to various audiences. Art is subjective, and what speaks to one person may not speak to another. Your point about the challenges that contemporary artists often face in expressing their political viewpoints without making their art feel heavy-handed or chaotic is also a valid concern. Many contemporary artists grapple with this challenge, especially in a world where political messages are highly polarized and complex.

It's important to acknowledge that there's a broad spectrum of art, and not all art needs to have a clear or overt message. Some artists are primarily interested in aesthetics, exploration, or personal expression, and their work might not be intended to convey political or social messages. It's also important to recognize that art's purpose can vary from one artist to another, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to what constitutes "good" or "meaningful" art.

Different people have different criteria for what they consider "good" art, and that's what makes the art world so diverse and interesting.
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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2023 @893.98 »

something that took me too long to realize is that nobody is an expert on anything. i will die with more experience of a domain than you, and you will die with more experience of a different domain than i. the reasons behind creating vary from person to person, but at their core they're all echos of attempts to understand things. Picasso was as awful an artist (to me) as Aristotle was an awful philosopher (to me); the lecturers at college best me only in having more experience - something that is a product of time. everything a scribe's ever scratched on paper will be thought again by some people who have never read their work, which is why sharing art doesn't actually matter to me. to some: it's all that matters. to some: they're preserving their art instead of sharing it. to some: sharing art is viewing the world through another's eyes, by how they respond. nothing is clear-cut; everything is nuanced.

what you're experiencing is probably confusion about why so many works are political, and why that level of saturation in Political Art affects your perception of the genre so much (what genre?! politics is everywhere!). you're the same as any other person alive who's struggling to grasp why something exists - or maybe you're not! maybe you're telling us why you don't like the Political Art you've seen, and we're deaf to what you say because we are prone to extrapolating our own meanings from what you say - using our own experiences - and projecting them onto your craft.

still, remember that no artist is mediocre. very shallow are critics, journalists and reviewers that grade art by criteria and truly believe what they say. art for the sake of money unfortunately plagues the world.

I don't really have a response to the first two paragraphs but i feel like the fact of considering
that there can be art that is mediocre or not (not artists, art) depends purely on how you see art.
Since i've built my conception of art around myself and the books i've read, it seems to not be so
accepting of others but i'll try to explain what i mean by mediocre and why it doesn't mean that
it's "bad".

By seeing a piece as mediocre, i mean that a piece of art doesn't try convey anything to me, or that
it feels fake. To me, every piece of art serves a purpose to someone, to convey an emotion, a
thought, a feeling. I think that it's different from what mediocre usually means which is that it's
not well executed and that it doesn't deserve attention. That's why i feel like sketches are mainly
mediocre, at least by my use of the word, they don't convey anything most of the time and that's not
always a bad thing if you don't want to create something that resonates more deeply beyond that it
looks nice. To me, mediocre is just some sort of way to sort art in my head.

I use the word mediocre over other words mainly because all the people that i've seen drawing
sketches of people could probably make a piece that would stand the test of time and still be
captivating for more than 30 seconds to an onlooker. Most if not all of the time, a painting is
mediocre because of the artist's choice, not because of his talent. He chose to make something
that's without anything interesting, that gets two seconds in a timeline. I don't think i use
mediocre very seriously outside of that context, since most of the films and books that i watch or
read please me with some aspect and touch me in some way.

I'd never force anyone to make some kind of magnum opus if they don't want to, but i feel like it's
wasted potential.
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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2023 @16.19 »

There's art that's made for today and art that's made for eternity; both are valid and we all expirence a mix of both; but I think what you're looking for is art that's made for eternity and I also look for that!

Recently went to Dublin for my grandmother's birthday party; my mum was driving and as we went through a big new overpass she said something like "This overpass is dehumanizing, its all about How to get from A to B, but it has no Why"; yet we did have a why, our why was to visit my grandmother for her birthday and what's more human than that?

Is the overpass art? Is it politics? It was certainly created by politics; a politician decided we needed an overpass, and they got the funding and built it. Yet it's also art! It has an aesthetic, it has a medium, it has a composition; but until we drove through it it had no "Why", why is that overpass art?

If an alien visited Earth would they understand the difference between the Mona Lisa and our road networks? I suspect not because there is no difference. Paint is as valid a medium as electricity; but art does not exist in its medium, it exists in its questions.

What is eternity? What is a tin of soup? What is politics?

Art does not have answers, it only has questions; but what questions do you ask? Some art asks if you want to buy a new iPhone and other art asks if you want to turn left at the next exit, other art still asks if you want to see life differently or see into another world; but why do we ask these things? What are questions? What is anything!?

Eternity exists in the unknown, the indefinable and the infinite - in short, eternity exists in the questions that have no answers  :defrag:  The overpass could become art to me because it left a space for our car, and therefore left a space for my "Why", my question for its existence and for my own.

Iv been accused of being a nihilist many times, but I really think I'm the opposite; I think that emptyness or space is the room for eternity and therefore the room for questions and meaning. So when I'm looking at, or creating art; I often ask if it allows me to have my space, or in a way, if it allows me to give it my soul  :tongue:
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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2023 @982.37 »

I share Melooons "open" art definition: Basically any act done by a sane being is art, as it is a individual way of shaping the world by carrying inner qualities out into it. But it's noteworthy that art is value-neutral in this context: This art definition applies on the Mona Lisa, the work of Jackson Pollock, Damien Hirst, a highway-road or 9/11 (OT: We had some broad discussions about the latter two in Germany).

I also believe that Brecht, who said that every art (and literally everything else) is political was right, and when I do or perceive art, I think about the message that it delivers. I believe that art with a bad political message can't be good art (example: A Leni Riefenstahl Film, or - if we consider that everything is art - a fortified border, a tank, or a concentration camp) as any quality of craftiness would be dwarfed by its message.

Explicit political art might be shared by its side even when it lacks in terms of artistry after common definitions. This might be a reason that explicit political art might often seem "bad", but for every blatant political artist there is a load of kitsch-producers that you merely never see. And on the other hand there are people like the aforementioned Bert Brecht, Victor Jara, or Heinrich Vogeler who made astonishing but very in-the-face political art.
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« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2023 @664.80 »

I also believe that Brecht, who said that every art (and literally everything else) is political was right
I was coming here to say this!! Equating politics with contemporary events is quite naive, I think.

I recently came across a talent show video in which a guy plays the drums, but everything's made of scraps and trash. He's an awesome drummer and you could close your eyes and leave it at that being good art, but he's made this drum set out of objects other people discarded because he can't afford an actual drum set. He's become a street musician because art doesn't pay enough if you do it any other way, and his not-art job doesn't pay the bills fully. But the art he makes, in a vacuum, the actual song, doesn't have a political message at all and it's just. A song well played. Everything that surrounds it is political.

Ariana Grande is someone whose music I don't care about (none of the messages it gives speaks to me, for the record, but that's beyond the point) but her being able to build a career and become one of THE pop singers of the moment by doing black face over the years (!!!!) is absolutely political.

There's a city near me that I won't name but that prides itself in its "green spaces". Just, places where people can touch grass. Literally. It released a huge document with numbers on what percentage green spaces each neighborhood had, and the adresses of said green spaces. And people went looking. Some of those green spaces were actual parks, done by architects decades and decades ago that are absolutely beautiful, full of statues and greenhouses. Modeled after European architecture, which is a political decision in itself since I'm in a country that was colonized by Europe. BUT some green spaces were freaking PLANT POTS STANDING IN A CORNER OF A BUSY ROAD. They were pretty of course, but just a literal plant pot with some colourful flowers and, you know, not the definition of a green space with was supposed to be "people can sit in the grass here and have a picnic". I think some of the flowers were exotic (political decision: why not use local flora?), colourful and really pretty and well mantained. Art, if you may. But drenched in the politics of choosing to name them a green space, therefore a place where people could partake in recreational activities. A nice pot.

I also, to be fair, recently cringed at The fall of the house of Usher's (the netflix show, not the Poe story) attempt at making a political statement about AI. A character was like "imagine having a TV show written by AI!!" and another character went "I can't imagine it'll be good!!!". I found that extremely stupid but, again, political in that 1) they decided to comment of it and 2) the comment was a shame for the human race in how shallow it was. Why not go further? Talk about the loss of jobs in the art industry? Make it more subtle? I think this one's an example of what you're "against", being so overt and debatably unecessary. But then again, isn't it political to have that in your show and still be released with no censorship by the very company you're criticizing, just because they know you'll bring them millions in viewership and subscriptions? I think that's the most valuable political message, not the "haha AI bad" half-assed shit they pulled. Yes I'm very bitter about it lmao.

Insert closing paragraph blah blah etc etc. I'm off to play Mario Kart (which I pirated) (aw dang not some politics again)
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« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2023 @771.78 »

I personally don't like thinking about these kinds of topics in terms of what is or isn't actually art. It's impossible to determine that, it's so subjective. If we say art has to have soul, for example, what does that mean exactly? How I define "soul" could be completely different to how you reading this may define it. If we try to narrow it down by medium, we're limiting creativity and possibility. Plenty of people think graffiti is only vandalism, not art.

It also sets up unnecessary prescriptions to what or who can be an artist that I don't agree with. If you made it, it's art, there's not much more for me dwell on there. At that point it becomes a new discussion of whether you think of it as "good" or "bad" art, which everyone is within their right to do. And it also wouldn't have definitive, collective answer.

And I think political art also comes down to perspective. All art is political, in some way, shape or form. Some is more overt than others partially based on our personal experiences and knowledge. And a lot of political art comes from the people in the thick of it, experiencing that time's hardships. So sure, maybe their art is messy or clumsy or unprofessional. But...at least for me! I find at decent amount of value in political art that comes from the average joe experiencing those events, regardless of how heavy handed it may it. Because the context is interesting and puts things into perspective, makes me think about the art in a different light.

I'm specifically thinking about Dadaism as I write this, because learning about the dada art movement really changed my perspective on this topic. Books can convey information, but art adds a human element to it. It reminds us, often in a very raw way, who exactly was there, what they felt, etc. If I had to put it another way, I supposed I'd compare it to reading a book about a chilling event versus seeing footage of it happening. Sometimes taking away that filter that will resonate better.

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« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2023 @825.98 »

I personally don't like thinking about these kinds of topics in terms of what is or isn't actually art. It's impossible to determine that, it's so subjective. If we say art has to have soul, for example, what does that mean exactly? How I define "soul" could be completely different to how you reading this may define it. If we try to narrow it down by medium, we're limiting creativity and possibility. Plenty of people think graffiti is only vandalism, not art.

It also sets up unnecessary prescriptions to what or who can be an artist that I don't agree with. If you made it, it's art, there's not much more for me dwell on there. At that point it becomes a new discussion of whether you think of it as "good" or "bad" art, which everyone is within their right to do. And it also wouldn't have definitive, collective answer.

Soul is just a way to convey what the intrensic value that i find in art with words, it's the
emotion that the artist conveyed through their craft, the little something that you feel when
watching a piece beyond its technical qualities. Something without "soul" is still art as i said, i
may not have properly explained it (but i still don't read it in this way). It's still art, but
mediocre art (in my eyes of course)(see earlier messages to explain why mediocre isn't so bad).

I don't claim to be able to prescribe who does and who doesn't do art, we still use the Hegel
definition of art in certain ways, even if his way of organizing art is sometimes very outdated
compared to what came in the centuries after his death. It's just that hard to make a good
description of art that is universal. I just said that it's harder to make good art with a strong
message rather than a shallow but powerful piece that says nothing too implicated.

I share Melooons "open" art definition: Basically any act done by a sane being is art, as it is a individual way of shaping the world by carrying inner qualities out into it. But it's noteworthy that art is value-neutral in this context: This art definition applies on the Mona Lisa, the work of Jackson Pollock, Damien Hirst, a highway-road or 9/11 (OT: We had some broad discussions about the latter two in Germany).

I also believe that Brecht, who said that every art (and literally everything else) is political was right, and when I do or perceive art, I think about the message that it delivers. I believe that art with a bad political message can't be good art (example: A Leni Riefenstahl Film, or - if we consider that everything is art - a fortified border, a tank, or a concentration camp) as any quality of craftiness would be dwarfed by its message.

Explicit political art might be shared by its side even when it lacks in terms of artistry after common definitions. This might be a reason that explicit political art might often seem "bad", but for every blatant political artist there is a load of kitsch-producers that you merely never see. And on the other hand there are people like the aforementioned Bert Brecht, Victor Jara, or Heinrich Vogeler who made astonishing but very in-the-face political art.




For the everything is political thing...
   If we consider that all art is political, "political art" would be overtly political art or
political as the main purpose of art. Everyone knows the point of view that all art is political and
that it's used by everyone to repress some criticism in some mediums. But saying that all art is
political when answering to what i said reminds me most of this kind of funny situation :

"He's going to die !" <- Extreme
"We're all going to die" <- Relativism and almost ignoring what the first person said by
saying something that everyone can agree with that doesn't amount to anything concrete when talking
about art beyond making the ground too hard to walk on properly

Even if all art is political, you're not going to say that every drawing, sculpture, movie can be
considered as "political" or "militant" as others. And then again, i'm not saying that everything
political should be abolished, that's a big misunderstanding that people seem to make in the
replies :

I agree with the fact that everything in art is somewhat political, simply being conformist or not
is political. I just wouldn't call art that is just anti-conformist without any concrete laid-out
message "political art" though. But then again, if every act is art and all art is politic, is me
breathing or something benign like this considered political to you ?
This seems pretty
far-fetched to combine both of those statements without a striking catch-all argument to back it up.
Then again, an argument by the absurd isn't the best of arguments but the statement that every act
in the world is political seems so out of the norm to me that i don't even know how to reply besides
with this kind of argument.

Judging whether art is good based on if you think that the political message is good or not is a bit
unfortunate but it doesn't seem to be that uncommon online even if i haven't really read any author
who seems to really believe in this point of view that wasn't dead since centuries ago, so i haven't
read any modern, well-redacted opinion that goes this way.


I was coming here to say this!! Equating politics with contemporary events is quite naive, I think.

Is the thing about contemporary event a general fact or did i say something relating to that ?
I don't seem to remember saying anything like that.

Have a good night folks !  :4u:
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