Blog: Art and Truth

Christine Alfery

Posted on August 06 2019

Blog: Art and Truth

Emerge, 22×30 watercolor on clayboard

Art and Truth

Earlier in one of my blog posts about technology and art I state that I was not searching for a truth in art.  I think like most things I do, I jump to that idea without thinking about what is truth? In the context of that blog I was writing about objective truth and technology, science, aesthetics and the arts.  I was talking about the origins of ideas/concepts. I have continued to think about the concept of truth and have expanded how I think about truth.

The question I find I am asking myself, could there be a subjective truth?  A truth of the moment? An experience that is the truth of the moment? 

The abstract expressionists thought so – as they searched for a truth, a purity through media and their link to their individual self.  They understood truth as a pure moment, pure element, that truth exists in the origin of things. Like scientists they believed that if they illuminated all things that would interfere with finding truth, for them in the arts, for scienctists in an element, a particle, a source of things that then they would have “art.”  Pure art with no moral subjectivity, no moral judgements.  

Since then there have been many debates about truth and questions that ask – but whose truth are we talking about?  Truth has become a construct. It can be a social, philosophical, scientific, aesthetic, religious, what ever for the socialist, philosopher, scientists, aesthetician, priest.  Some search for a objective truth. Aestheticians search for a unique truth, a one of a kind experience.

What if instead of moral judgements, we seem to place on everything including art, we used aesthetic experiences as a way to relate to things to people, to objects.  For example: instead of thinking and “evaluating” “goodness” and “badness” about anything, including art, what if we thought about the experience of anything and everything?  What if we asked the question, what is the aesthetic experience that radiates from this object, this person?  

What if we asked as we looked at anything, am I profoundly absorbed or immersed within the object the person with my senses?  And, is this experience outside the sphere of necessity and material utility? Do I paly, do I become immersed, absorbed in this object?  In the playground this “thing” exists in. If I do, is there not a truth to that moment, that sense, that experience? Is there not a total sense of enchantment here? Is this moment not a truth?

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