Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Arts place in the Economy of Cultural Life

Some great insights about art leadership (critics/historians) from Roger Kimball:

"...In my view, it often happens that the most a critic can do is to remove the clutter impeding the direct enjoyment of art. True, that clutter sometimes includes the debris of ignorance or insensitivity, and in this respect art critics and art historians can provide useful guideposts that make it easier to see the work for what it is. But at bottom, their function is a humble one: to clear away the underbrush that obscures the first-hand apprehension of works of art.

Of course, this modest task has an ambitious corollary motive: namely, to help restore art to its proper place in the economy of cultural life: as a source of aesthetic delectation and spiritual refreshment. "....


aes·thet·ic or es·thet·ic adj.
  1. Relating to the philosophy or theories of aesthetics.

  2. Of or concerning the appreciation of beauty or good taste: the aesthetic faculties.

  3. Characterized by a heightened sensitivity to beauty.

  4. Artistic: The play was an aesthetic success.

  5. Informal. Conforming to accepted notions of good taste.
n : (philosophy) a philosophical theory as to what is beautiful; "he despised the esthetic of minimalism"

de·lec·ta·tion n. (Jeff says "how delectable!")
  1. Delight.

  2. Enjoyment; pleasure.
n 1: a feeling of extreme pleasure or satisfaction; "his delight to see her was obvious to all" [syn: delight] 2: act of receiving pleasure from something [syn: enjoyment]

Lets explore the synonym of delectation - “enjoyment”

en·joy·ment n.
  1. The act or state of enjoying.

  2. Use or possession of something beneficial or pleasurable.

  3. Something that gives pleasure: Classical music was her chief enjoyment.

  4. Law. The exercise of a right.
Function: noun: personal benefit, use, or possession (as of rights or property) ; widows and widowers were relegated to lifetime enjoyment of the marital estates —W. M. McGovern, Junior et al.&;; specifically : the receipt of the fruits or profits of property see also RIGHT OF USE, USUFRUCT

Interesting, this idea of a right. The fruit of owning something, is that you have the right to enjoy it. The pleasure it generates belongs to you. God has done this for us with art, he gives it to us to enjoy, as he did the earth [look that up in Genesis].

In the same way, we give pleasure to others through art. We give them the gift of enjoyment of the particular aesthetic delectation they receive from it. Mmmmm, that was so delectable...soooo delicious!

Imagine all the pleasures of heaven...and... the beauty (whew)...Our God is a lover of aesthetic delectation, and he gives it to us as a gift. Art, food, wine, countryside, human laughter, love, thrilling movies, books....all these things are delectable, and it is the joy of our Father's heart to see us receiving and "enjoying" his gifts.

And then that finds its health and balance in communion. We will enjoy, but we must also flower in our life by making sure others enjoy even more than we do. Living for others, and delighting in their enjoyments is the highest of all aesthetic delectation because it allows you to commune with God - to be like him and understand his ways...and to look, God and you, at each other and wink because you both know the secret...loving others.

(Thanks to Millinerd for his post that got me going on this. If you're interested in Art & Faith Issues, his blog is a must read. Get to know him now before he becomes the premier thinker in this field.)

1 comment:

Cindy said...

My head is absolutely spinning.