A Discussion of Art and


A Discussion of Art and Music

Erik has promised a continuing discussion of the aesthetics of modern music and art. (Direct Link doesn't appear to be working, so go here and page down.)

I find this an interesting and potentially very entertaining (not amusing, but entertaining) proposition. I will be most interested to see how Mr. Keilholtz manages to fit modern art into anything other than modern philosophy. And if the aesthetics chosen are modern, then it would interesting to see the justification of the Modern Aesthetic, given such points of departure as Mortimer Adler's immortal and finely reasoned Ten Philosophical Mistakes.

What is most interesting about this is the question of what Mr. Keilholtz finds interesting, beautiful, or wonderful about modern pieces. There are some that are truly interesting and transcendant, but I would argue that most betray a warped and unsound aesthetic that, in fact, diminishes the art itself. Recent exhibits in museums and galleries that include such wonderful items as a room in which a single bulb goes on and off periodically and the artists own unmade bed with "accessories" suggest that most moderns don't have a clue any more. They do interesting tricks and they do the Duchamp outrageousness without an iota of his talent to play to an audience of bored intelligentsia, who in turn perform backflips to try to justify this (in some cases real) excresence to a population that knows better. Much of modern art (not all) suffers from "The Emperor's New Clothes" syndrome. However, it will be interesting and entertaining to see which artists and composers Mr. Keilholtz chooses and to hear exactly what is appealing in them. I await the discussion of Alban Berg's Wozzeck or even, perhaps creepier, Lulu, an opera featuring Jack the Ripper and mysterious a snake named Lulu. (Both of these are powerful, powerful works, though hardly conventional, and better seen than merely heard the first time.) Also, one of my favorite Bartok pieces, Bluebeard's Castle. I don't know where these will fall on the peripatetic excursions into the arts, or whether they will fall at all, but I hope so. I look forward to reading and I hope constructively disagreeing (or who knows, actually agreeing) with Mr. Keilholtz. Now, we all have to keep after him so that he actually does as he promises. Go over there and suggest things you'd like to talk about.

Perhaps we can even spend a few moments discussing whether Hockney's theory of the camera lucida and Vermeer makes any real difference in the accomplishment that is Vermeer's oeuvre.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 5, 2003 7:47 AM.

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