I recently came across an article about art written by a Polish artist who visited my country’s most renowned museums. It kind of angered me because it said that Romania, as well as Poland, doesn’t have any unique art because we hang too much on our communist past.
I am not here necessarily to argue her point of view, but more to explain my belief about modern art, which is why it angered me so.
First of all, when I say art, I’m referring to painting, sculpture, performance and installations. Not because literature and music are not art, but because I’m here referring to a specific art market.
In regards to paintings, modern art gives us this extreme abstractionism in which a line on the middle of the canvas represents the whole idea of „the other” (Barnett Newman). From this point of view, I think we should now all agree that art is more about discourse than it is about the actual drawing or technique.
In the same way, the sculpture comes close to logos – a single solid form which stands for other forms and concepts. Installations can be as much as a corn on a stick and it can mean the whole Universe.
I love art and I studied it for these reasons. My love for it can now safely make me draw the conclusion that modern art isn’t really anything concrete, but the artists search for a new form of expression.
For this reason I accept and I value modern art just like any other historic step that art has been through. Even by assuming only the fact that nothing can mean everything, modern art has had an important role in the development in our society.
Getting back to the article, what startled me was that, in this age of extreme open-mindedness, of bringing art to the people, it is precisely the same critics and artists that started this movement who now find criteria for declaring artistic value.
Indeed, maybe ex communist societies have developed a habit of talking about their past. But, really, how can you say that a famous artist’s colored spots on a white background (Damien Hirst – Spot painting) is more valuable than an old blouse knitted in the communism. If art is going to be this way, I think we should all agree that is must be considered equal, as part of a world-wide movement.
If it is going to be discourse, then ok, let art be discourse, but if it is to be absolute freedom, then let it be exactly that!
Modern people that are shaped by modern art should not even consider nationalists, historical or even psychological frontiers. We should perceive each artistic object as individual, unique and have a subjective experience with it. This is what great movements like the DADAISM gave us, the chance to reintroduce art in our day to day lives without having to be an art major.
Keep on going with the flow, but stop when it feels wrong and it contradicts your beliefs. Stop and ask everybody else: “what do you think?”.