Blog: Should Art Be Serious?

Christine Alfery

Posted on August 04 2019

Adrift by Christine Alfery

Featured image: Adrift III

Can art be serious?  Can art take itself seriously?  If art is to be taken seriously should art have similar properties say,  as science which seems to always be taken seriously?  

I believe the playground of art has many of the properties of science but art also has properties that science can’t have.  Art like science begins with the idea, with a concept. Art should explore and discover like science. Art like science has mass, volume, length, and malleability. Art unlike science does not need to be measured. Art does not need to be qualitative science. Generally speaking, from my experience when art tries to be qualitative it misses the mark when it comes to uniqueness and one of a kindness. Art , until recently has played in a  qualitative playground, filled with personal subjective observations. Recently, technology has been slowly moving into arts playground. Technology, is a medium. Mediums should not be something that places value in an art object. Mediums cannot be sensuous, exotic, pleasurable, seductive. Concepts, ideas can be sensuous, exotic, pleasurable, seductive.  

Art should be sensuous and exotic, pleasurable and seductive.  

Can the sensuous, the exotic, the pleasurable, the seductive be taken seriously.  My answer will always be yes, yes, yes to that question. Can science be exotic, pleasurable and seductive and still be taken seriously?  My guess is the answer to that question would be no if science is to be taken seriously. So does that mean that art can’t be taken seriously?  Well if the pleasurable, the exotic, the sensuous are not taken seriously in life then life would be very boring. It is important to take in, the pleasurable, the sensuous seriously. A delightful way to do that is through art.  Our culture will lose something if art loses these values and properties. If art were to become measurable, ie digital work, intentionally designed work, utilitarian work, there would be no seduction of the pleasurable, the aesthetic, the sensuous.   

I welcome a discussion from those who think differently.

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