A brief glance at Art
Nowadays, Western culture is the paradigm of modern civilization which, through its different manifestations and the variety of its discourses, is assumed as a culture in the name of progress, reason and development. Thus, under the guise of these precepts, many people in Europe and America have created a particular vision of the world; for example, unlike ancient cultures, we consider nature as a source of wealth and not as a sacred entity; we interpret religions as false mythologies and we privilege scientific or rational discourse; our time is historical and not cyclical as in the cosmogonies of other cultures; the dominant philosophy defends progress to the detriment of all the rest, while some illiterate peoples proclaim stability and preservation. We exchanged, in short, the sacred for the layman, the magic for the ordinary, the poetic for the prosaic, the imaginary for the real, the internal for the external. In our eyes, the universe is divided, severed and without a psycho-spiritual relationship with our existence; for the ancients, the cosmos was a whole in harmony with life.
In this perspective, art can easily become a mere source of entertainment, a simple platform for artists who live in a world where the academic and professional requirements of effectiveness for efficiency are made available to the laws of the market. Indeed, if we continue to associate art with the idea of linear progress, the obsession with individual success, the pure perfection of technique or the maintenance of the needs of political proselytism, it will be more difficult to consider the potential it brings to work with our consciousness and to reorient our conditioned ways of acting, thinking and feeling that prevent more equitable development in our societies.
Wanting to see beauty for beauty in art can reinforce the sentimentalist idea of an intelligible and reasonable world. It also creates homogenous beliefs about good and evil, which at the same time reinforces our need for security, practicality and comfort, while negating a more complex, strange and chaotic reality that art can reveal to us. Seeing only the beautiful image of art can only be founded on a superficial ideal of pleasant and passive beauty, on kitsch.
In addition, another look at art can invite us to a long journey through aesthetics, philosophy, mythology, poetry, symbols and signs, the unconscious, archetypes, dreams or anthropology. In other words, it introduces us to a journey into the human imagination, the latter being understood as the essential power of the psyche, of all true art and as a source of inner knowledge. Indeed, if art has an end, it might be an attempt to show the strangeness of reality, of existence, of transmuting – without wishing to give an unequivocal and concrete answer – the signs of everyday life. in symbols. It is also to blur the boundary between subject and object, to show its meta-historicity and its analogy with historical progress. Art revives the paradigms of the human condition that are also meta-historical: life, death, existence or non-existence of God, love, pain … Art questions the human being itself and its relationship to the world.
In this sense, it is therefore important to highlight the resources that could be retrieved from the human imagination to face the existential paradigms we face in the contemporary world – global and local, social, political, psychological, economic, ecological – this will be more and more necessary if we want to better understand the global and personal realities of today.