Inherent Vice – More Frustration With Soap

Posted: May 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

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  1. forster matherly says:

    is it a threat though? I don’t know I think it looks cooler and it speaks to how old the piece is. Beauty is fleeting, and I think the threat makes a statement of its own that doesn’t necessarily take from the piece. I don’t know though I’m not an art buff

    • I post this simply to invoke the concept of inherent vice, which we discussed in class. I was not trying to make an absolute statement. In fact, ever since the birth of modern aesthetics (which I might date to the end of the 18th century) there have been debates over the best way to appreciate and curate art. Many critics, especially during the Romantic movement considers the statues and temples of the ancient Greeks to look best as ruins. Today, on the other hand, a new group of scholars art determined to disseminate the knowledge that the dazzling white marbles of antiquity were in fact lavishly decorated with colorful paint. Similar fierce debates have arise over how best to perform and enjoy music. While many purist insist that classical music ought to be played on the very finest instruments of our day, other insist that classical music should be heard as it originally was, played on the rickety instruments of centuries past. I can hardly begin fully to address these issues here. I can only hope to make students aware of them.

      • Angela Tabak says:

        This article and your comments led me to briefly look into the ways in which classical ballets have been preserved, and I came across an article about preserving Balanchine’s choreography. Balanchine (1904–1983) had hired Francia Russell as assistant ballet mistress, and she used her position to take detailed notes of every ballet he created in an attempt to preserve his personal artistry and legacy. Dancers today prefer to learn choreography from video, but Russell is concerned with the amount of information directly from Balanchine that is lost through this process (like the difference between primary and secondary sources). Now, the George Balanchine Trust owns and controls all the rights to his works. They used to rely on dancers, such as Russell, who worked directly with him, when teaching or restaging his works, but as time passes, fewer of those dancers are able to teach them, so most of the restaging is now done by dancers who have never worked with him. It is interesting for me to see the struggles for preservation after just a couple generations, while other ballets have been passed through centuries, and experienced countless variations on the original choreography whether intentional or accidental. This idea of preservation/modification really interested me and is something I will want to look further into, especially for some of the older ballets.

        • In the world of modern dance, there was felt a similar urgency to preserve the works of the legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham prior to his death. Dance being a living and not a plastic art however, I can not imagine it would be possible perfectly to preserve the work of any choreographer. Something will inevitably be lost in translation, even with perfect systems of notion. Because each new generation has its own sensibility, its own feeling for how one experiences time, space, and embodiment. Try as we might to preserve dance in its original and authentic form, I’m quite certain it is subject to the same stresses and hazards as paintings.

  2. A. Anderson says:

    It seems like a huge pain to preserve these old paintings… I suppose it is nice to appreciate the arts.
    While I understand that the original copy of a painting is typically seen as valuable, I still don’t quite empathize with those who feel that a new copy of an older painting is worthless.

    • The debate you invoke began to gather some serious steam in the ’70, as a result of an essay first written in 1936 – Walter Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in The Age of Mechanical Production”. Here, updating ideas he found in Marx, he begins to question all the sacred verities associated with cult of originality, uniqueness, and authenticity. In keeping with Marx’s contention that developing Capitalism work constantly tear down the sentimental veils which surround traditional values in a mystique aura. While Marx had in mind principally the tradition family, he certainly considered other things as well. For Benjamin, the sentimental veil is also torn off of art, as reproduction technologies now make it possible to mass manufacture and distribute cheap prints of ‘timeless masterpieces’ one could see only if on pilgrimage. Without going on in great detail about things I teach in IT8, Benjamin’s essay signals a momentous shift in the world of serious art, one from beyond which is seems we are unlikely ever to return.

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