Why are people convinced that art lies in harmony and beauty correlates with symmetry?
I have this friend who casually flips through my magazines while lying on my bed. On one of the last pages, she finds Adrian Hates of Diary of Dreams masked and photoshopped into a rotting corpse, and she immediately exclaims: “Bah, that’s so disgusting” and turns the page. Soon she comes accros other boldly expressive photography and makes a funny face again: “Can’t see how somebody can do such ugly stuff, it’s just sick”. And I leave this without a comment.
Ten minutes later I’m all alone in my room and can’t stop pondering: why would art have to be beautiful at all times? Why is it so hard to accept that the sole purpose of art is not to be delightful and make you have fun, but there are other aspects of it, too?
Yes, there are “ugly” things in music, in photography, in film, in writing and on stage. Yes, there are distorted vocals screaming harsh words, torn sentence fragments using rude commonplaces; yes, there are sick close-ups of brutally murdered corpses, deformed-looking bodies moving to the tune of a falsetto trumpet within the framework of what you call “dance” on stage, yes… And what makes you assume that the creator has no message coded in these forms of expression? Why are nearly all people convinced that art lies in harmony and beauty correlates with symmetry?
I would love to punch these people in the face and simply ask them why they need to restrict themselves to the obviously beautiful and digestable, and why they have to lower their level of acceptance?
And even if it’s the lowest form of “art” meant for effect or fun in the first place: the advertisement of a movie or a CD in a magazine… even then… why can’t it have a more versatile, colourful face to trasnsmit a more powerful code?
There are times when you don’t even need sophisticated codes, because screaming something like “I just wanna be a fucking warmachine” will do it. And can’t that be a fully touching form of expression, too?
Published in my blog on 4th November 2007