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tisdag 8 maj 2012

ART & ARTISTS Today

ART & ARTISTS Today
Professor Christopher L. C. E. Witcombe


Todaythe questions What is Art? and What is an Artist? today are not easily answered.
According to William Rubin, director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, "there is no single definition of art." The art historian Robert Rosenblum believes that "the idea of defining art is so remote [today]" that he doesn't think "anyone would dare to do it."
Philippe de Montebello, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, states that there is "no consensus about anything today," and the art historian Thomas McEvilley agrees that today "more or less anything can be designated as art."
Arthur Danto, professor of philosophy at Columbia University and art critic of The Nation, believes that today "you can't say something's art or not art anymore. That's all finished." In his book, After the End of Art [see BIBLIOGRAPHY], Danto argues that after Andy Warhol exhibited simulacra of shipping cartons for Brillo boxes in 1964, anything could be art. Warhol made it no longer possible to distinguish something that is art from something that is not.
What has finished, however, is not artistic production, but a certain way of talking about art. Artists, whoever they are, continue to produce, but we, non-artists, are no longer able to say whether it is art or not. But at the same time, we are no longer comfortable with dismissing it as art because it fails to fit what we think art should be (whatever that is).
We struggle with this because we have been taught that art is important and we're unwilling to face up to the recently revealed insight that art in fact has no "essence." When all is said and done, "art" remains significant to human beings and the idea that now anything can be art, and that no form of art is truer than any other, strikes us as unacceptable.

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