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Of Obscurants...

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Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


0 posted 10-27-2002 11:58 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant


In many contemporary paintings, movies, and poems, and music videos I have seen a growing habit of seeking to mingle and smear obscene explicit sexual and violent images and attitudes together at the same time with cloudy references to religion, art, poetry, history or mythology, it seems, in attempt to create a seeming that there is a profound basis for all the obscurity that can justify the darkest whims when there is actually no moral basis or profoundness as substance.  While they may act like stereograms they actually have no perspective through all the obscurity but are just the mess they show.  You may observe these and be convinced to admire how skillfully one can glorify making a mess so that you give the benefit of the doubt that its art not obscurity.  But it is obscurity, and often pornography too.  If you listen to interviews the involved people will say things that good morals are about, smartly as if they were bred well and are connected to good influences in life, but what they form in my deem are base publications that influence a vulnerable population within our population, making morals obscure and evil.  It doesn't mean anything saying the right thing, if you don't do the right thing.  There is no way of not letting these people do what they do because they are so obscure you cannot declare or officially call them criminals or pornographers, you can only be warned and try to ignore them.  You must've come across what I'm talking about, they are a growing group of people unfortunaltly, who call themselves artists but just skillfully obscure things.  It makes me sick to see that many are famous.

Red
Member
since 01-01-2000
Posts 144
Ca


1 posted 11-09-2002 01:09 PM       View Profile for Red   Email Red   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Red

Essorant,
I had to respond to this because I feel that I strongly disagree with you.
Of course, it would depend what you are saying 'art' is.. I would agree that many musicians have no inegrity at all and their music video's are not art so I will not include them in my arguement....... but as far as artists??  Sometimes the obscurity serves a purpose.. sometimes this is where you will find the entire meaning and message of the piece..... take Serrano's "Piss Christ" for example.  I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that you might consider this to fall under your definition:  "While they may act like stereograms they actually have no perspective through all the obscurity but are just the mess they show."  and you wouldn't be alone in thinking that..  Many people do already.  But stop for a moment and think about the piece and you will see that the artist is critiquing religion, the difference between the spirtuality of it and how the cross has become a cultural iconic symbol... the artist's message is decidedly positive, he thinks that religion needs to become more spirtual again etc etc.....  is this obscurity?  I don't think so, I think it's art.
Which makes me ask now, what about artist's who seek to CHANGE things through their works?
Robert Maplethorpe immediately comes to my mind.... people call him a pornographer and a multitude of other things but is he? I would argue that he isn't... I would say that his art sends the message that sex as a social secret is harmful and that being more explicit is what is more healing... and maybe he's right?
WHat is art?  A very debateable issue.. I think some obscured things are art.
Which brings me to what I really wanted to comment on more than anything from your post: "It doesn't mean anything saying the right thing, if you don't do the right thing."
--This is a valid point of view but it frightens me, do you know what's right?  Do you know what's moral?  Does anybody?  I know that I sure don't, I have an idea but.....  in Hitler's time he thought it was moral and right to slaughter an entire group of peoples and others that were alive than agreed with him..... they knew what was moral and right as well........  I ask you now, were they?
I guess my point is just this, I don't think that we should be so quick to judge and throw around pretty vague terms like 'moral and right' so loosely.  
Midnitesun
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Empyrean
since 05-18-2001
Posts 29020
Gaia


2 posted 11-09-2002 10:31 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

There are no better obscurants (in my opinion) than politicians and TV evangelists. And art is art is art, and not politics or religion; though art has always had controversy surrounding it in paintings, sculptures,poetry, prose, music, plays.....all are art forms.

'nuff said.

[This message has been edited by Midnitesun (11-11-2002 03:47 PM).]

Red
Member
since 01-01-2000
Posts 144
Ca


3 posted 11-10-2002 12:19 AM       View Profile for Red   Email Red   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Red

"There are no better obscurants (in my opinion) than politicians and TV evangelists."----=lol!!  too funny!!
I needed that!


The Napkin Writer
Member
since 06-28-2002
Posts 72


4 posted 11-13-2002 01:28 PM       View Profile for The Napkin Writer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for The Napkin Writer

I can agree with you in general, but not all sexually explicit art are indeed sexually explicit, in the sense that it is vulgar.  I think the word that fits this scenario is “exploitation!”

As for sexually explicit art done in a tasteful manner, some of the world most beautiful sculptures are of nude figures.  And many of histories most revered artist all rendered some sort sexually orientated art that if viewed by content, has nothing vulgar about it at all.  And of many historic poets, if you strip away the metaphors in their poems, you can find sexuality all through their pieces.  In fact, the love scene has been around for ages in different forms of art, but it was rarely exploited like it is today.  

Art is like beauty, referenced to the eyes of the beholder, but once exploited by individuals and industries, it loses that beauty content and do becomes something of a lustful nature.  The sad part is, those who have never known or seen beauty, referenced to the eyes of the beholder, “may” never even know the beauty in art they are missing.

Different media industries have given the message that nasty is in!  Lust is one of the seven deadly sins, yet lust is one of the things that drive us in pursuit of sexual fulfillment, another being love, and of course, lust sells, love doesn’t!  We are slowly evolving to a country driven by a lustful and sinful nature.  

Believe me, there are many individuals who would like to say something or do something, but most are afraid of being sued from denying someone their constitutional right to render “garbage” to the public, and mostly now days the plaintiff wins.  Not to mention the billions of dollars these industries pull into local, state and national communities, and the “hush-money-pocket-change” for political and religious silence.


Good subject thanks;
The Napkin Writer    
bsquirrel
Deputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Rara Avis
since 01-03-2000
Posts 8382


5 posted 11-13-2002 02:13 PM       View Profile for bsquirrel   Email bsquirrel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for bsquirrel

See, I don't think of nudes as sexually explicit. Sexual, sure. But explicit? The figure of David was actually a commentary by Michelangelo, showing someone of very unheroic and contemporary proportions in the mold of classicism, where you'd have to be a god or goddess or warrior to end up eulogized in marble.

How is that sexually explicit? Because you can see David's penis? Sexual, maybe, but explicit, no.

Whoa, I'm off topic.

Symbols carry a lot of weight and shorthand for emotional or intellectual moments. I think the problem with our worldview right now is everything is being shown and created through a dark glass of irony. We're too busy putting the past and present in its place through snide comments and attempts at comedy, that we're not building a foundation from which to find the place called "art."

People are becoming less and less educated about the classics, too. For example, how many poets on this site read poets, both classical and contemporary, avidly? It's sort of shooting in the dark.

Symbols can be powerful when used correctly. But many just throw 'em up on the wall and see what sticks. That might be what you mean about how all these symbols seem to be obscuring the story, not to mention pretending depth when really they're using these ancient motifs as a bumper sticker more than a message.

Apologies for how convoluted this little thought was.

Mike

[This message has been edited by bsquirrel (11-13-2002 02:14 PM).]

 
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