Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Belinda » September 26th, 2015, 4:52 am

3uGH7D4MLj, Re "cognitive" I used the wrong word.

Can pictorial abstract art tell a story? It's possible that all we can understand is story, narrative , causal connections over time or within reason. I'm pretty ignorant about music but I understand that much classical musical form, and certainly all melody rest upon narrative sometimes quite dramatic narrative.

True, music is narrative without words, but the narrative form survives in statement, development and resolution in all melodies or they wouldn't be melodies. Phrases don't amount to melodies. The melody makes a statement over time but the pictorial artist is usually not performing but intending to create something static. There cannot be a definitive performance of the Mona Lisa.

I know we can talk about movement in a picture. But this movement is a perception of the receiver whether or not that was intended by the artist. After all there is a feeling of movement when we perceive something beautiful in nature, we follow with out eyes the arch of the tree branch, or the regularity we see in the expanse of water and sky. I think that words or without words does not quite catch the problem of form or meaning.

I'm afraid that this topic of form and meaning diverges from the more sociological one proposed by the OP. I hope the moderator will bear with it.
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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » September 26th, 2015, 12:54 pm

Belinda wrote:3uGH7D4MLj, Re "cognitive" I used the wrong word.

Can pictorial abstract art tell a story? It's possible that all we can understand is story, narrative , causal connections over time or within reason. I'm pretty ignorant about music but I understand that much classical musical form, and certainly all melody rest upon narrative sometimes quite dramatic narrative.
What word would you use to help me figure out your question -- "Does "non-objective, abstract, pictorial art have cognitive meanings or is the value of it purely aesthetic or emotional like most of instrumental music?"

I would have to disagree about all melody resting on narrative. Say birdsong, unless the narrative is: stay out of my territory or, choose me! choose me! I've heard that birds mostly sing for pleasure. I would have to say that a story is not required for the invention of a melody.

You can't perform the Mona Lisa perhaps, but with non-objective art, say, Willem DeKooning, you get a narrative of the work being created, the marks of a human struggle to make something with the authority and power to stand on its own.

A work like Hopper's Nighthawks brings dozens of narratives.
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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Belinda » September 26th, 2015, 1:27 pm

3uGH7D4MLj wrote:
Belinda wrote:3uGH7D4MLj, Re "cognitive" I used the wrong word.

Can pictorial abstract art tell a story? It's possible that all we can understand is story, narrative , causal connections over time or within reason. I'm pretty ignorant about music but I understand that much classical musical form, and certainly all melody rest upon narrative sometimes quite dramatic narrative.
What word would you use to help me figure out your question -- "Does "non-objective, abstract, pictorial art have cognitive meanings or is the value of it purely aesthetic or emotional like most of instrumental music?"

I would have to disagree about all melody resting on narrative. Say birdsong, unless the narrative is: stay out of my territory or, choose me! choose me! I've heard that birds mostly sing for pleasure. I would have to say that a story is not required for the invention of a melody.

You can't perform the Mona Lisa perhaps, but with non-objective art, say, Willem DeKooning, you get a narrative of the work being created, the marks of a human struggle to make something with the authority and power to stand on its own.

A work like Hopper's Nighthawks brings dozens of narratives.
I love birdsong even although it's sequences of phrases, not entire melodies. The song thrush for instance has a huge repertoire of phrases although no sequence of her phrases amounts to melody. The blackbird's song has a silky tone but lacks any structure that can be called melody.

I did not make it clear enough that I think of melody as form not meaning. I have been told that what the bird 'intends' by its song is warning-off of competitors. I suppose that birds enjoy doing what comes naturally. Warnings may or may not come in narrative form; birds' warnings are neither form not meaning narratives, but are more or less beautiful noises. When birds are said to sound melodious this is an imprecise use of 'melody'. When I try to differentiate between form and meaning in any art idiom I have to be precise as to what I mean by 'form'.

I concede that some pictorial art is performative because its creation process is at least part of its appeal.

The essential narrative has duration. The duration of a narrative includes a procession of connected ideas which develop a theme or themes throughout the narrative and the narrative finishes either with a radically changed theme or with a recapitulation of the initial theme, perhaps with a variation of it. This structure applies to novels, theatre, and music. Performative picture- making is a sort of theatre.
What word would you use to help me figure out your question -- "Does "non-objective, abstract, pictorial art have cognitive meanings or is the value of it purely aesthetic or emotional like most of instrumental music?"
I suggest 'please define it". I suggest this because I am not at all sure what non-objective, abstract art is. I am not familiar as you are with modern artists and it would help me if you would give examples of pictures by well-known artists who have been dead for perhaps about one hundred years, if possible.
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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » September 26th, 2015, 3:16 pm

Belinda wrote:I love birdsong even although it's sequences of phrases, not entire melodies. The song thrush for instance has a huge repertoire of phrases although no sequence of her phrases amounts to melody. The blackbird's song has a silky tone but lacks any structure that can be called melody.

I did not make it clear enough that I think of melody as form not meaning. I have been told that what the bird 'intends' by its song is warning-off of competitors. I suppose that birds enjoy doing what comes naturally. Warnings may or may not come in narrative form; birds' warnings are neither form not meaning narratives, but are more or less beautiful noises. When birds are said to sound melodious this is an imprecise use of 'melody'. When I try to differentiate between form and meaning in any art idiom I have to be precise as to what I mean by 'form'.

I concede that some pictorial art is performative because its creation process is at least part of its appeal.

The essential narrative has duration. The duration of a narrative includes a procession of connected ideas which develop a theme or themes throughout the narrative and the narrative finishes either with a radically changed theme or with a recapitulation of the initial theme, perhaps with a variation of it. This structure applies to novels, theatre, and music. Performative picture- making is a sort of theatre.
What word would you use to help me figure out your question -- "Does "non-objective, abstract, pictorial art have cognitive meanings or is the value of it purely aesthetic or emotional like most of instrumental music?"
I suggest 'please define it". I suggest this because I am not at all sure what non-objective, abstract art is. I am not familiar as you are with modern artists and it would help me if you would give examples of pictures by well-known artists who have been dead for perhaps about one hundred years, if possible.
So birdsong is not melody. Paintings are disqualified from narrative. You don't know what abstract art is. And you want to know an abstract artist who has been dead for 100 years.

For me, one glance at Hopper's Nighthawks and the narratives are at flood stage. And there are no abstract artists who have been dead for 100 years -- almost though, when did Tatlin and Malevich die? Klee and Kandinski?

I'm sorry Belinda but your message is impenetrable.
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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Belinda » September 27th, 2015, 4:42 am

I'd be surprised if you could not discuss colour and line as separate issues from any artwork's meaning. Similarly, can you not discuss rhythm and counterpoint as separate issues from the meaning the song has for you?
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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » September 27th, 2015, 3:15 pm

Belinda wrote:It depends on what you mean by realism. Nazi art was realistic only insofar as reality was defined by Nazism. Some photograph that looks like a view of everyday reality can connote a wider metaphorical reality. In a cathedral one might see a humanly realistic Italian beauty who models for the Madonna but take one's religious feelings from the Virgin in the medieval window.
So far the discussion has been considering the usual garden-variety divide between abstract, nonobjective art and representative, figurative art. The difference between pictures of something, and pictures as something in themselves.
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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Belinda » September 28th, 2015, 3:04 am

I can make the effort to discuss form as form, and it is an intellectual effort. The few pictures I have seen which I guess are pure form abstracted from meaning are like closed books for me , and I feel that I am missing something I don't know what. I don't want to think of myself as forever lost in a philistine wilderness.

I thought that it might be possible to point out that form alone abstracted from meaning might be at least beautiful. I also thought that perhaps there is actually no receiver of art for whom form abstracted from meaning is permanently tenable. I simply don't know.

But perhaps if all art, even so-called 'abstract' art, is meaningful as long as there are human beings to superimpose interpretations of it then perhaps there is some truth in the OP's (?) hint that the more artists transmit deliberated meanings the more authorities rule what people are allowed to think.
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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » September 29th, 2015, 9:10 am

Belinda wrote:I can make the effort to discuss form as form, and it is an intellectual effort. The few pictures I have seen which I guess are pure form abstracted from meaning are like closed books for me , and I feel that I am missing something I don't know what. I don't want to think of myself as forever lost in a philistine wilderness.

I thought that it might be possible to point out that form alone abstracted from meaning might be at least beautiful. I also thought that perhaps there is actually no receiver of art for whom form abstracted from meaning is permanently tenable. I simply don't know.

But perhaps if all art, even so-called 'abstract' art, is meaningful as long as there are human beings to superimpose interpretations of it then perhaps there is some truth in the OP's (?) hint that the more artists transmit deliberated meanings the more authorities rule what people are allowed to think.
Some people just don't get dance. Or they don't get opera, for whatever reason. You seem to be a person who doesn't get abstract art. And that's fine, why not? Follow your inclinations.

If you feel a lack or want to know about it, look into it. Maybe don't interpret so much as experience the art. You don't need to bring the experience into language, just recognize the experience, give it importance, enjoy it. I think this is an aesthetic method worth cultivating, it's almost lost to our culture.
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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Belinda » September 29th, 2015, 11:55 am

If you feel a lack or want to know about it, look into it. Maybe don't interpret so much as experience the art. You don't need to bring the experience into language, just recognize the experience, give it importance, enjoy it. I think this is an aesthetic method worth cultivating, it's almost lost to our culture.
I understand what you advise about aesthetic method and how it's worth cultivating. However I suppose that analysing ideas about art is appropriate to philosophy. Analysing ideas involves use of explicit language and explicit ideas concerning art. For instance, when someone asks "What is the nature of art?" one sort of answer might concern brainminds and what scientists have to say about it.
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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Platos stepchild » September 29th, 2015, 11:55 pm

I can't speak to the proposed thesis, inasmuch as I'm ignorant of art and it's reciprocal affect on a society. Is anyone willing to explain why Realism might auger a society's demise?

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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Belinda » September 30th, 2015, 3:44 am

Platos stepchild wrote:I can't speak to the proposed thesis, inasmuch as I'm ignorant of art and it's reciprocal affect on a society. Is anyone willing to explain why Realism might auger a society's demise?
'Realism' according to the OP seems to means the everyday, commonsense view of what art depicts as opposed to say, caricatures, dreamlike surrealism, or abstract shapes and colours. It's probably a fact that what seems to be "everyday" and "commonsense" can be altered by lies from a charismatic authority, such as Hitler was. One of the ways of establishing a lie as everyday fact and commonsense vision is to portray those facts and visions in a popular art style. This is what the German Nazis did. Nazi art requires little or no aesthetic experience to understand, and it is made to carry and transmit Nazi ideals.

By contrast art which is not realist in that sense is often available only to those who are aesthetically educated. Free artists, free of political controls express unconventional or politically incorrect views. When we see nothing but 'realist' art on public view we need to be aware that perhaps this is due to political or commercial intention to make artists conform.
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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Ecurb » September 30th, 2015, 11:22 am

Since all societies eventually "fail", all art (whether realistic or not) "ends with society failing".

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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Belinda » September 30th, 2015, 2:01 pm

Ecurb wrote:Since all societies eventually "fail", all art (whether realistic or not) "ends with society failing".
Like since all societies eventually fail, all crop spraying ( substitute what you will) " ends with society failing ".

Thanks for that Ecurb :P
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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Ecurb » September 30th, 2015, 5:13 pm

Well, that was my point, wasn't it Belinda? The question the OP asks is meaningless. Apparently the poster's teacher said:
I had an art history teacher that used to tell me that you can determine how close a society is to crumbling by looking at its art. Any society that enjoys realism in art doesnt have much of a chance at staying around long. Do any of you know whether abstract or realistic art will ever be able to live in the same world?
Does this suggest that societies that enjoy abstract art will last longer than those that enjoy realistic art? It certainly doesn't state as much explicitly. Based on this post, societies that enjoy abstract art may ALSO be close to crumbling. No comparison is made. Can anyone point out societies that have enjoyed abstract art for (say) a millenium?

Western society has enjoyed both realistic (and unrealistic) art for centuries. The novel (for example) has been largely realistic for 200 years -- almost the length of its popularity as an art form. Is the art history teacher suggesting that Latin America is less likely to crumble than North America, because of the popularity of novels utilizing "magical realism". Or is he just making a dig at the artistic propaganda that flourished under fascism and communism in the 20th century? Is the kind of art people "enjoy" directly or indirectly conducive to the "crumbling" of society? Or are autocratic societies that mandate particular art forms (whether abstract or realistic) likely to "crumble". Indeed, what does the "crumbling" of society mean? Has Germany failed to "stay around"? Has Russia? Do changes in political structure mean society has "crumbled"? How about wars?

If societies change, is that healthy, or does it mean the society has "failed"?

Until we answer these (and other) questions, the questions posed in the OP are meaningless.

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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » September 30th, 2015, 5:52 pm

>>> Until we answer these (and other) questions, the questions posed in the OP are meaningless.

Yes, we know, it's a silly topic. We're kind on a tangent here, about abstract art.
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