In the 70s, symbolist critics damaged the appreciation and the scope, including the political one, of great artists. «What has the creator intended to say?» And that has nothing to do with the work, knowledge and empowerment that certain art works can give. You don’t have to «understand», you have to decide what you think about what is proposed to you. Great artist leave a lot of space and action to be taken by the «spectator». On the other hand, we have the capitalistic will of digesting any revolutionary initiative. They promote the «emotional» approach, so you just consume it with commercial and apolitical motivations: «this painting gets to me, emotions me» (that’s why, for example, the Impressionist are so popular). Both approaches are asking you taxatively: «don’t think, don’t think for yourself». So the just walk through or ignore it and relate to more «popular» productions, soap operas, series, TV mainstream, is also brutalizing. Art is not just semiotics or emotion, it can be a revolutionary tool, as much for knowledge as for action. Some amount of effort and study is needed for everything, including revolutionary action. The spark of your commitment may be your need to revolt, but you’ll have to read (and some times criticize, discuss, propose alternative) the Classics so you don’t repeat History or sterile approaches. I mean, man, we are all for Paul Lafargue’s The Right to Laziness, but you’ll hace to get of the coach to loan it from the library 😉 Adorno was being provocative when he said «Art is suffering» but it is true that if you want to understand the present capitalist society and start to try to change, you will have to start to understand its instruments such as political though, cultural expression and art currents. Big hug from Spain, J
In answer of Badlander Vtg of the Anarchst Film Makers Group: How much of art history, psychology, film theory I must know in order to enjoy works of Seijun Suzuki, Ingmar Bergman, Jean Luc Goddard, David Lynch etc? I am a very layperson who wants to watch movies like those aforementioned directors but I feel very daunted. Hearing how they and their likes incorporate so much stuff in their movies, I feel that I must do something equivalent of preparing for SATs before I play their movies. I have watched some movies like Stalker and Persona and I feel like a dumbass for not appreciating them in refined manner, but rather with my own crude idea. I know most will say I should simply go ahead and watch since those movies are for all to see otherwise they would have been bound to college courses, think this is me venting out my insecurity and inferiority complex. Now please laugh react.
By the way, Badlander Vtg Dave Downes apart from all I just said 😉 what a beautiful picture you have composed… even if it brings together a humanist, an existentialist, a Marxist libertarian-communist (Godard as you can see by this photo of one of his best and most wild films One plus One-Sympathy for the Devil) and a libertarian pessimist