Words by Charles Esche
"What makes art stand out is both the intimate form of its address and its ambiguous relation to the interests that produce it. Art, at least since Modernism's beginnings in the nineteenth century, has been able to distance itself to some degreefrom the social machine that produces it. It is able, in the name of an individual artist, to speak for itself and its selfish intent to be art and nothing more. So much so that the question - 'what is art for?'- has been historically answered by simply saying: 'art is for art'. This has the benefit of appearing to give art its own space to become itself but it is, as we see these days, an effective way to allow questions of ownership to become dominant over questions of meaning or social production whenever art takes up a role in the world outside itself. Nevertheless, 'art for art' is a concept worth retaining in extreme situations of political or economic instrumentalisation."
It was a relief to read this paragraph in the ArtReview: Digital today.
I have often gotten overwhelmed in my own creativity wondering about the meaning of all this art. I read various artist statements, with artists pointing out the parallels between their art and social or spiritual context. Sometimes I feel rather stupid for not being able to verbalize all that stuff. I do art for ART! I do it because inside there are deep thoughts that I can only express with images.
This article also brought up the point of art as being "an effective way to allow questions of ownership to become dominant over questions of meaning or social production..." I believe the author is referring to copyright and sampling and how society is working out the answers to ownership of intellectual property. It's a good read. Especially when it gets you thinking about your place in it all.