In high school I majored in English as a foreign language and Literature (which included 6 hours of philosophy per week in my final year). How lucky to be pushed to think, argue, wonder, search, meditate, and then produce essays dealing with intangible notions such as the definition of art.
Why do we apply the term “creation” to artistic activity?
Is a work of art a sacred object?
Do you need to be cultured to appreciate a work of art?
Can you blame a work of art for “meaning nothing”?
Is art for everyone?
Should the artist seek to please?
Does the reproduction of works of art harm art?
Is the artist a technician?
Does the work of art teach us anything?
Can we conceive of a society without art? This is a very actual issue. With the new lockdown, France had to shut all its art dealers again : museums, concert halls, cinemas, theatres, libraries, book shops…
I am grateful to live in a country which roars and complains because all these places have to be considered as non-essential right now. What a relief to live amongst fellow citizen who fear they’ll suffer from the lack of art in their life. How romantic to have this idea you’d rather catch a deadly disease than stay away from books or a ballet or a play…
Living in this rural God-forsaken place in a Western corner of France had made me realised how vital it was for me. I feel I need to be reminded of the existence of art over here because any glimpse of it is too often an exclusive portion which only revolves around Brittany. I rarely feel included in what’s to offer and it doesn’t show me the world. Here, art is seen through geographical and cultural blinkers turning the spot lights on the local folklore. But what about the rest of the world? What about the other languages? The other rhythms? The other shades and words?
Have you ever been so deeply touched by a piece of art that it made you cry or shiver (so many pieces of music can pull the trigger for me)? Have you ever experienced the magical feeling of being glued to a movie even if you’re not sure you’ve understood the plot (Mulholand Drive)? Have you ever read a paragraph over and over again because the words were like a perfect dessert? Have you ever forgotten you were in a theatre because the play transported you somewhere else?
For all these reasons I feel grateful to the radio which has filled me in thanks to clever hosts and passionate guests. In the morning I listen to Boomerang presented by Augustin Trapenard a French journalist specialised in culture and literature. How invigorating to listen to directors, illustrators, photographers, writers, or musicians talk about their way of thinking the world around us. How lucky they are to devote their life to creating. How magical to produce emotions with oblivion?
I miss not thinking enough. Not being stupefied. Not being amazed. Not being questioned. Not being inspired enough.
To life! To beauty! To sensations! To tears! To laughter!
To artistic wish lists…