While it is every reader’s secret wish to be a writer, every music lover’s ambition to be part of a gig and every movie watcher’s unconscious desire to be in front of the camera, it may not be possible for each one to achieve his or her dream. However, that must not stop one from appreciating art and soak in the essence of what has been appreciated.
Appreciation does not necessarily have to include positive feelings about the said text. Negative and darker feelings including revulsion or anger is a constructive way to acknowledge art. It does not necessarily have to please one’s senses. It could shock, disgust, repel, scare, and in short, arouse emotions and feelings.
Perhaps these forms of expressions must propel one to think and analyze, understand life around self in a better fashion. On the other hand, art may seek to do nothing, and remain a masterpiece. Acknowledging the abstract and the aesthetic is what makes humans different from animals, and not the human kind’s innate need for power and domination.
A boy that grows up to be a successful professional may find life meaningless, until he watches a seemingly ordinary documentary. The ordinary movie he watched while he was distressed may sow the seed of desire in him, the desire to understand and dwell on that medium. While most grow up encountering all forms of known art, it may remain for the sole purpose of entertaining oneself. If the professional watched the same documentary while he was a frisky teenager, he might not have developed an interest in documentaries.
Like Michel Foucault once rued, art has become objectified, as related only to objects, and not to life or society or individuals. Most complex situations, thoughts, international crises, political upheavals, poverty, joy, wars, peace could be understood and appreciated through art. While children are taught that good is good and evil is evil, to put it bluntly, they are also taught to think in black and white terms.
If only people learn that humans are capable of good and evil at the same time, love and hate at the same time, understand our dichotomies, understanding human culture wouldn’t be so difficult. In fact, any form of expression or impression, let us call it art, could help one understand self, society and culture. Appreciating the many forms of expressions and impressions could help us make sense of an otherwise absurd world.
A rather unfortunate belief is that art needs to be expressed in a certain medium. On the contrary, it could be an impression, a thought, an internalized feeling, which was arrested before it was articulated in a medium, only to deprive others of savouring that burst of creativity.
If there was something supernatural, it has to be the creative force that makes human beings what they are. It is this creative force that allows human mind to imagine, accomplish and create & destroy. The power of imagination is what has made the world today, and the power of imagination may perhaps lead to our race’s extinction. Creativity may hold the key to nourish our troubled souls, understand an absurd world, and give meaning to an otherwise meaningless existence.