Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nothing is new

Nothing is new- and even though that is true, when I thought about it, maybe it puts art in a new perspective. Yes as artists we can never really make anything new, but maybe in the end it is not about the final product. Maybe we are missing the bigger picture of art. Maybe in fact it is more for the artist than the viewer. The artist goes through a lot of investigating, researching and staying in touch with the world and from all this, artists learn. Artists grow and develop knowledge about things they may have never investigated if it wasn’t for that one little piece that intrigued them to go further and find out more.
I am experiencing this now in my printmaking class. For our next project, we drew three words out of an envelope. We are suppose to create a piece that represents those three words in some way, shape or form. My three words are melancholic, twisted and consequence. My investigation started out by looking up the definition of all three words using multiple dictionaries. I discovered excellent words such as dislocate, distort, misrepresent, wrenched and corrupted to assist in defining twisted. I thought I would know exactly what consequence’s definition would read, but found importance and relevance as one of the meanings. It is always exciting to look of definitions and discover something so many seem to miss. Words extend beyond much farther than we give them credit. They lead us on chases full of curiosity and wonder. The word melancholic opened up a “can of worms” of information I never knew before. I was under the impression melancholy was simply a state of being depressed, but learned how in medieval times it was considered a serious condition caused by black bile in the spleen. It is connected to a theory called Humorism, which believes that the body has four humors, or substances, that when they are in balance means a person is healthy. When one of the humors gets out of balance, the person’s personality can shift and they show certain characteristics. Black bile is one of the four substances and is believed to lead to melancholy. The information I found went on and on all because I had to look up one word for an art project.
In the end it doesn’t matter so much if my piece doesn’t look the best, or if someone will remember or recognize it because whether any of that happens or not, it cannot take away from the fact that I learned something.

The viewer actually has the harder job of stepping into the artist’s frame of mind and has to figure out what is going on.

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!” What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content. History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now
Ecclesiastes 1:2-11

1 comment:

Nate Koehler said...

I feel like the statement 'There is nothing new under the sun' is made to anger people, and arouse creativity. The pessimism in that statement can spur innovation by others to prove it wrong. I always remember when I was little my brother would say something likes, 'I bet you can't do that', then naturally being eager to prove him wrong I kept trying it. I think this could be the same case here for many creative minds.