Friday, May 20, 2005

The "Work" of Art

I'm leaving to see my children for a week and then bring them back with me to spend a week here in Wichita, so as a parting post . . .
I have mentioned elsewhere that my school has a philosophy club that holds monthly discussions of philosophical issues. On June 10th, I've volunteered to lead a discussion on "The 'Work' of Art." Long-time readers know this is a hobby-horse of mine that rears its head from time to time in this blog and in my teaching. Anyway, I've sent the faculty sponsor a list of questions to forward to the members in anticipation of the meeting:

*What exactly happens when we look at a painting, hear a song or read a book?
*Does art "do" anything?
*Should art "do" anything?
*What do we mean when we talk about "meaning" in art?
*Does art "represent" reality? Or does it "re-present" it?

Am I forgetting any other questions? I'm not interested in questions of beauty--just that dynamic, if any, between work and audience. If you have further additions and are so inclined, I hope you'll post them in the super-dee-duper Blogger Comments section.
I've also asked students to choose an image familar to them and make careful distinctions between, as I phrase it, what the image "tells" them and what they "tell" the image.
One final request: I'll be taking with me to the forum some images that, I think, will bring these questions more to the surface. I have some ideas for these and will post them after I return. In the meantime, I'd welcome some suggestions from readers (please supply links).

I'll be back "here" in a couple of weeks. Thanks as always for visiting and reading.

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