This week’s Tate Debate asks:
Do you think you have the same connection with a work if you know nothing about it and the artist, or is your experience enhanced (or even diminished) by knowing about the processes behind a work? How much of the story behind a work do you need (or want) to know?
My answer is here, but I have a few more thoughts.
I’ve always felt an aversion to long-winded explanations of art. I would rather just get in there and DO the art – words are a distraction.
I love words. I always have. I love to read. But when it comes to art, I switch off the verbal part of my brain so that I can immerse myself more deeply in shapes and colors.
But this is just one way of processing art, and it might seem dismissive to folks who are highly logical or verbal all the time. Especially if they love art but don’t do it themselves; they can’t immerse themselves directly in the experience like the creator can. They break it down, process it, and incorporate it into their own consciousness in their own way.
It might be a good idea for artists like myself to take their cognitive differences into account and make more effort to communicate better in our art statements. Up until now I’ve favored a minimalist style that let the viewer make their own decisions about what they’re experiencing, but maybe that’s not enough.
What do you think, readers?