Explaining Art

April 23, 2006 Comments Off on Explaining Art

I am asked to talk about my art sometimes. I sense that hunger for
understanding within the audience. I used to feel pressurised to come up
with answers to satisfy that hunger. I have learned that it can lead to me
coming up with hurried and spurious interpretations of my own work.

Such is the status that meaning can have over feeling that I bow to the
pressure and engage what Steven Pinker calls the “Baloney Generator.”
This is our rational self that is so uncomfortable with the potential
ambiguity of an emotional motivation that it will try to pin things down
with desperately formulated rationales. The cleverer we are the better we
are at making up more convincing meanings and reasons.

Nowadays I employ a more open strategy and talk about the things I was
looking at and thinking about when I was making a particular piece and
leave it up to the audience to make their own direct connections. This
feels more satisfying and true than any nailed-down explanation.

Trust your own reactions, don’t seek enlightenment
Grayson Perry

via ArtsJournal

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