[-empyre-] For whom is art "made"?

Megan Debin meganldebin at gmail.com
Wed May 7 02:47:50 EST 2008

First of all, thanks to Jennifer and to all for introducing me to an
interesting community of discussion.  I would like to introduce a new topic
about audience and the public in general.

For a long while, I have, for reasons unbeknownst to me, been resistant to
Jennifer's urges to check out errorista's work.  I hadn't quite figured out
why I felt this resistance until today.  *Light bulb!** * I am afraid of not
understanding.  I have an intense fear of being wrong – a truly
anti-errorista sentiment – that what these artists do will be beyond my
mental grasp.  As I have learned from errorista, there is no wrong
answer.  There
is right in the mistake.  All this self-doubt... and I'm in academia!

So, this got me to thinking about an often-forgotten segment of our
population: the general public.  The everyday person, when asked about their
thoughts on art, usually thinks things such as, "I don't understand anything
about art," or "Maybe if someone explained it to me, I might get it.  But
probably not."  How have we lost touch with the audience?

My questions to the empyre community are these: How does current art
production relate to the general public, to the Joe Shmoe on the street?  How
is the public *really *involved?   Shall we sit in our ivory towers and wax
philosophical, using complicated terminology that most of the general public
does not understand?  That *is* our job, right?  How can artists and critics
reclaim a true relationship with the people?  Why do we have these
discussions?  How does it relate to the larger population? And a critical
one: For whom is art made?

P.S. By the way, I checked out errorista.  It's witty, ingenious, all right
and wrong all at once. I love it.

Megan Lorraine Debin
M.A. Latin American Studies, UCLA
meganldebin at gmail.com

"Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape
it" -Vladimir Mayakovski
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: https://mail.cofa.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/attachments/20080506/20b2c158/attachment.html

More information about the empyre mailing list