Inertie hoort bij Kunst als de Dood bij het Leven

In this article I propose to understand inertia in art as a “disposition to meaning”. I compare inertia in art with that of a face of a person recently deceased. To acquaintances, i.e. to family and friends, it holds a promise of memories (of the deceased); to all the others the corpse offers the possibility of a projection of meanings. Art is made of plain, or extra-ordinary stuff, which is turned into artistic material. The artist is to bring the inert potency of stuff to artistic life, and to turn it into something that is expressive. If she is successful, then the work will offer its audience a concentrated, absorbing experience. Art is autonomous in that the aimed for experience is morally neutral. In the view of many contemporary artists, such experiences fail art’s deeper significance: absorbing experiences are, simply, too easy. If artists want to really move the audience (to emotion), or so they feel, they should also move the audience into action. Wanting to achieve this is not just difficult; it is a paradox
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