More from Conversations before the end of time:
“It is only by discovering the biological origin of this intrinsic human imperative to make art that we will truly come to understand what art means for human life and what its future might be.
… Today the question of ‘community’ is much debated — not only ‘what’ art is for, but ‘who’ it is for.
… To understand what art is, or might again become, Dissanayke claims that it is useful to consider the bigger span of human history and not just the restricted field of modern Western Society, in which art has become identified with salable objects rather than with kinds of behavior or ways of doing things that embellish and enlarge life. Although small-scale, less-specialized, premodern societies may not possess the abstract concept ‘art,’ they do offer all their members frequent opportunities to be ‘artists,’ and to be a vehicle for group meaning. The paradox of the isolated, elitist view of ‘art for art’s sake’ is that art is simultaneously sanctified and dismissed as rubbish; it becomes the subject of complex exegesis and yet is totally ignored; it commands millions in the auctioneer’s salon and yet is irrelevant to most people’s lives. According to Dissanayake, we are in this paradoxical spot because Western society treats art as a dispensable luxury, when it is really an innate behavior that is essential to our human, biological nature. Art, in her sense of making special, is important to the lives of everyone, not just to an elite group of artists in an art world. A fundamental human need is being expressed, and met by artistic activity.”
Thanks to one of my favorite blogs Riley Dog for the always splendid & stimulating image finds.