What we mean when we talk about the incompetent sages IV

Art is the expression of the way of thinking of a time made with means of that thinking. Expression is the demonstration of a content. The language is a deliberate way of expression and can be subjective or objective. Art is a subjective language, e.i. arts are subjective languages -and art, the collection of those arts. Languages are ways of expression performed by different media: Images, gestures, signs, codes… The language is a generic concept so, generally, its epxression only can be generated through concrete ways as tongues, such as the spoken languaje. In the artistic language there are tongues, but they are not idetified as such, and we refer to them by their description, their style. When we say that Gothic is an style, we mean Gothic is an artistic language with certain characteristics.

Trevor Cole, The salt trade, Donkeys and camels
Trevor Cole, The salt trade, Donkeys and camels

Art is style. Art is the creation and use of a style appropriate to a time, so that the style is something subjective. Style is the way of doing things, that is, it is the way of doing the form. The style in art is the creation of a form of expression appropriate to the content of what is expressed, that is, what we call (1) deep content, which is the point of view of each time, so that subjectivity of art is a consequence of the subjectivity of an era and not of the personal subjectivity of the creator. Since this deep content is subjective (each epoch has its own), the corresponding form of expression will be subjective. The artist is subjective only when assessing the situation he refers to, that is, in an extra-artistic way.

Trevor Cole, The big push 2
Trevor Cole, The big push 2

Art is a consequence of the ability of expression, perception, interpretation and emotion, of man, so that man can manifest many things: feelings, facts, judgments and knowledge, because art, contrary to what is usually said, is not about Just ideas, it deals with human problems, and it can do it in many ways. When the knowledge, intuitions, opinions and doubts that man has are exposed in a non-objective way, the subjective form appears which, in turn, can be manifested in many ways, giving rise to the different arts that, in each moment, will have a character, and that character of cultural expression is the artistic style. Culture, on the other hand, is the set of intellectual manifestations typical of a society.

Trevor Cole, The salt trade, Caravans of donkeys and camels
Trevor Cole, The salt trade, Caravans of donkeys and camels

In art there is, besides the deep content (2), an explicit content, the means to expose the style, which is, for example in painting, the representation that is shown in the work, which involves dealing with a subject and referring a concrete situation. A work of art is formed by those two contents cited, by (3) the use of a technique for the construction of the representation and manifestation of the style, and (4) by a way of treating the situation offered, the gender, for example , like tragedy or comedy.

Trevor Cole, The salt trade, Caravans of donkeys and camels (detalle)
Trevor Cole, The salt trade, Caravans of donkeys and camels (detail)

Art is the result of the expression of the point of view that a society has at one time to interpret the world. The style, in the art of a certain cultural line, is a product of the man of each time and represents a section of that line. And different cultures suppose societies with different characters.

In real things there is an adaptation between form and function. When you go to the beach, you put on a swimsuit; When you go to the moon, an astronaut suit. When the object to be shaped is the form of expression of a time, it is done in a manner appropriate to the given point of view, so that subjectivity is essential when establishing the way of creating forms. The style is the form of expression corresponding to the nature of the thing expressed, the temporal thought, regardless of what is said in each case. As the expression of knowledge at one time, according to what has been said, can also be objective, there can be degrees of objectivity and subjectivity, for example, an image can be a representation or a work of art, depending on the quality of the work and his ability to show a concrete mode of expression. In the highest level of collective subjectivity, that is, in the context of a culture (prehistoric, western, oriental, pre-Columbian …), the dominant society in a place and time (Greece, Rome …), which will have a certain character , will manifest in his works a particular way of expression, his style.

Image of article index: Trevor Cole – The salt trade – Donkeys and camels (detail).
Head Image: Trevor Cole – The salt trade, The return ladened (detail).
Images with copyright. Forbidden its reproduction.



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