Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Which comes first, the art or the idea?

Continuing my exploration into So, why is this art? I will examine the fourth of the key points:
Which comes first, the art or the idea?
The Contemporary explores this question thusly:

...Once free of the perceived requirement to make representational art, they began to focus more on their ideas for what art could be. For some, the idea or concept became the most important part of the artwork... this type of art has been called conceptual art. Conceptual artists documented or diagrammed their ideas for various artworks. If they were interested in creating a physical object based on their plan, they either made it themselves or provided the instructions to other people to fabricate the piece as a drawing, painting, sculpture, or other work. Some conceptual artists simply display the plans, texts, or notations as an artwork, which emphasizes the idea as the key part of their creative process.

Key Ideas of Conceptual Art:
- The artist's ideas are more important than the actual painting, sculpture, or object created.
- The use of language takes priority over visual experience.
- Artists criticized art-world institutions and society and wanted to create something outside of the system.

I suppose part of why the previous question may have seemed somewhat abrupt to me is because the response is sort of continued here in regards to conceptual art. And in many ways, these two topics are very intertwined because both developed from a questioning of conventionally accepted means of expression.

I have a tendency to approach my own artmaking from a conceptual standpoint more than anything else. I even do so to the degree that materials are explored first and foremost for their abilities to convey whatever idea that I am presenting. Much of my work thus runs the gamut, from drawing to painting to sculpture, installation, performance, video and so on.

I do however differ from this description in that, for all that my ideas take precedence, I am much more interested in the finished piece's ability to convey my idea than in the process of its creation. There are exceptions because sometimes the process itself is completely integral to the integrity of my idea, but as a general rule much of my work deals with the outcome of what was made. Perhaps I am just less interested in theory than some and tend to prefer the physical presence of the finished work to the process by which I got there. And in an attempt to get people of all sorts (artists and non-artists) thinking about things in new and different ways, I try to convey my ideas in a manner that people who lack exposure to modern and contemporary art can still "get it" on some level or another. Simply put, perhaps the idea of the narrative, at least insofar as viewers being able to understand the message conveyed, is not entirely dead to me.


ChaoticBlackSheep said...


ChaoticBlackSheep said...

Conceptual Art