15 April 2008

"Making Art as if the World Mattered"

“Vision that responds to the cries of the world and is truly engaged with what it sees is not the same as the disembodied eye that observes and reports, that objectifies and enframes. The ability to enter into another’s emotions, to share another’s plight, to make their conditions our own, characterizes art in the partnership mode. You cannot exactly define it as self-expression—it is more like relational dynamics. Once a relationship is given greater priority, art embodies more aliveness and collaboration, a dimension excluded from the solitary, essentially logocentric discourses of modernity. Partnership demands a willingness to conceive of art in more living terms. ‘Compassion is the rooting of vision in the world, and in the whole of being,’ states David Michael Levin. It is a way of seeing others as par of ourselves. When art is rooted in the responsive heart, rather than the disembodied eye, it may even come to be seen, not as the solitary process it has been since the Renaissance, but as something we do with others.”

From Suzi Gablik's “The Re-enchantment of Art,” pg. 106.

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