I remember having this question thrown at me on my first day at art school, and I find it almost as difficult to pin down now. Because artists are always pushing at the boundaries, the need to define and contain becomes more urgent; after all, if everything is ‘art’ then it can equally well be said that nothing is. I think immediately of Carl Andre’s pile of bricks in the Tate as a brilliant take on this question…
…so when I came across the following quote I had to write it down:
“…this formed the paradox at the heart of it.. art: an apparently pointless affair, undertaken by people with a special aptitude, which sidestepped attempts to paraphrase its value yet somehow seemed to communicate something true or even crucial about The Human Condition. The Human Condition being, basically, that we’re alive and have access to beauty, can even erratically create it, but will someday be dead and will not.”
For me, that comes pretty close to nailing it. The quote is actually about sport, baseball in particular, which of course, raises a whole lot more questions…anyway, I would welcome any observations.
Beautiful day today, the sun is shining at last and I am off to Chester. Lovely!