Is it that I like veiled, indirect explanations or is that all explanations are indirect? If you read my ponderings about sarah v. goetz final exhibit in Durham, you will know that the why’s of Art are a central question for me.
Goetz captions some of her work in Haiku, see here on her Instagram. This is the veil I am referring too. People often want the caption to explain the work literally.* This is an impossible mission. Should we surrender knowing that? Give in and be as declarative and didactic as possible?
I believe Art reminds and explains to us that these approaches are part and parcel of the same continuum. We can never follow each other’s meaning or thoughts exactly.
The Marxist thinker David Harvey and his cohort, UNC-CH Professor Emeritus, Jim Peacock, call this trap the Leibnizian Conceit after the German philosopher and mathematician. Ontologically we can only think from inside our own heads. We will never “know” completely what another is thinking.
We when we feel as though we do, we have a special word for such a state. We call it “love” and love is magical, uniquely precious, and, sadly, not particularly common.
Typically we can only perceive the world outwardly through our own eyes, our own lens, our own biases, and our own experiences. Leibniz’s presumption was that he could apply his experience and perceptions to everyone.
My friend, Mark the Painter, says that most people have a particular intelligence or learning style: visceral, analytical, or kinesthetic. It is not only that our perceptions are different, but that the foci of perception are different among us.
Art responds to those queries. We are unable to capture entire ages in the history books. Our ancestors could not tell us their entire life-story in full, it would take as long as they had lived so far. This conundrum, too, is answered by Art.
Time is neither static nor summarizable. We cannot explain it or stop it. Our mortal existence defines us. We are alone.
Yet, we feel one another. We communicate with one other. We make Art. And we live and love one another.
old context, literally—actually, that what is