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The Reenchantment Of Art
Suzie Gablik
Thames and Hudson, London, 1992
192 pages

A critical view of the contemporary art scene and a view upon new approaches towards contemporary art (including her own work) that try to incorporate what from her point of view is missing: Myths.

p. 5-6: "Modernism above all exalted the complete autonomy of art, and the gesture of severing bonds with society. This sovereign specialness and apartness was symbolised by the romantic exile of the artist, and was lived out in modes of rebellion, withdrawl and antagonism. Talk of harmony, or fitting in, was anathema to the alienation of the artist. (p. 5) ...
Today, remaining aloof has dangerous implications. We are all together in the same global amphitheatre. The psychic and social structures in which we live have become too profoundly anti-ecological, unhealthy, and destructive. There is a need for new forms emphasising our essential interconnectedness rather than our seperations, forms evoking the feeling of belonging to a large whole rather than expressing the isolated, alienated self. [...] To highly individualistic artists, [...] the idea that creative activity might be directed toward answering a collective cultural need rather than a personal desire for self-expression is likely to appear irrelevant, or even presumptuous. But i believe there is a new, evolving relationship between personal creativity and social responsibility, as old modernist patterns of alienation and confrontation give way to new ones of mutualism and the development of an active and practical dialog with the environment.

p. 24 Marie-Luise v. Franz: "A civilisation without creative people is doomed."
Heinz Kohut: "the anticipatory function" of art.
Marylin Ferguson: "the new common sense of the pragmatic visionary"

p. 46: "The death of the spirit, the amputation of the soul" [McLuhan, Virilio, Pullman] "the sense that all our gods are dead: these are the messages we have been programmed to give and to receive by our culture, which works by legitimising certain ways of knowing and disqualifiying others. [...] The loss of myth, the assumption thet the only way of knowing are logical and linear, has resulted in a profound loss of moral orientation and meaning for life. Archetypal themes give form and meaning, but as a cultue we have fallen out of meaning, leaving only the dreariness of calculated , mechanical process.

Eliade: "It is not enough, (...) to discover and admire art of the primitives; we have to discover the sources of these arts in ourselves, so that we can become aware of what it is, in a modern existence, that is still "mythical" and the survivers(?) in us as part of the human condition." p.49

"Our culture denies myths and that it has any significance for modern life." p. 56

"We have to bring back to our culture a sense of aliveness, possibility and magic. p. 60

"Arts ontological framework of objectivation, permanence and egocentricity" does not "create meaningful connections between art and society."

"hostility towards the audience" Marinetti

"David Michael Levin: "enlightened listening" a listening oriented toward the achievement of shared understanding. We need to think about "practices of self" that do not seperate the self from the society and withdraw it form social responsibility." p. 64

"... art tends toward the same lack of accountability, that scientific ideology for itself." (Examples: Oppenheimer, Serra)

p. 81 > an elegant description of the Cartesian worldview (reminding of Tanizaki or Heidegger)
"A geography of the mental landscape of ..."

p. 83 Turrell, Roden Crater: "to set up a situation to which i have you and let you see. It becomes your experience."

p. 84-85: Extacy: Murray-Schafer

p. 86: Schafer: pilgrimage

p. 91: Goldsworthy

p. 98 - bottom, core data; "Why? Art will not save a life!"
"the challenge will be to break through the Cartesian illusion of that have generated the impressions of seperation and detachment."

p. 99: "Renaissance created the spectator who is outside the picture and seperate from what he sees. The vision we need to develop is not one that observes and reports, that objectifies and enframes, but one released from those verifying tendencies and rooted instead in a responsiveness that ultimately expresses itself in action."

p. 108 Merleau-Ponty: "It is not enough for the philosopher (Artist) to create or express an idea; they must awaken the experiences that will make their idea take root in the consciousness of others."

p. 113 Arts

p. 114 future view: capitalism, self, art

last update: 4/20/02010 15:48

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