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Opinion - On justifying art


#1

Many artists, or people who wish they had the nerve to call
themselves artists, face this problem of “justifying” what they do,
really justifying their own value to humanity. When you think of all
the other things that humans do, no matter how technologically
advanced the technique or process, these activities are simply
elaborations of the things that all living creatures do; Finding food
and shelter, attracting mates, defending territory and young
(sometimes). In other words, except for details of technique, we are
just like cows or cockroaches or codfish or any other species,
including many extinct species. Just trying to make a living. Some
succeed at this and others fail.

It seems to me the only thing we do that distinguishes us from all
the rest of the crowd is “Art”.

Many species have come and gone over the ages, unremarked by anyone
but us humans, and as we perceive our fate may be no different, it
behooves us to wonder how to justify our whole species, never mind
how to justify art.

It is a given that we wish to survive. That is an unavoidable
attribute of living critters. It doesn’t prove that we should
survive.

The one straw I have found to grasp is this.

ARTISTS MAY NOT SAVE THE HUMAN RACE BUT THEY DO MAKE IT WORTH SAVING

That pronouncement may not make sense to any other species, but I
like it. And I’ve never said it to an artist but that his/her eyes
lit up at hearing it.

Marty in Victoria