Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: A post about art (sort of)

503 Responses

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  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    You really are quite something, Paul.

    He does debate well, I agree :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Giovanni, you are ranting. Greek art was unknown to the rest of Europe before the 18th Century. Yes it is art, but it had to be rediscovered. Europe only knew its influence through Roman art, which was largely rediscovered in the Quattrocento and Cinquecentro. That was also the period when the conception of art developed, which did so in the light of this rediscovery. You are doing a disservice to history if you pretend that things which were not regarded as art at the time of they making are art in retrospect.

    Equally, trying to reclassify objects that were not made for artistic purposes as art is folly. You are the revisionist, not me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    You are doing a disservice to history if you pretend that things which were not regarded as art at the time of they making are art in retrospect.

    You are saying that Phydias and Praxiteles weren't considered artists in a meaningful sense in their own time? You're nuts.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    This entire debate is IMO stupid, and what's worse, it was triggered by philipmatthews quoting Andrew Paul Wood, and ignoring the real issue

    unimaginative pseudo-Fascist tat

    which is that the proposed work is unquestionably precisely that ("unimaginative pseudo-Fascist tat" I mean) and utterly horrid.

    I don't care who works at Weta and who thinks they're artists or not; the one that they made of the little girl reading is awful, and this rugby bollocks is a wretched disgrace*.

    Surely we can agree on that?

    *not least because, as has been noted by more than one other, it closely resembles a woman's genitals: a vulva, with labia, clitorus, introitus, some hair, and even the hint of an anus.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Of course not. I said they were rediscovered. I was referring to the craftsmen of the Middle Ages, who were not regarded as artists because there was no conception of art at that time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Can I ask where your history of art comes from, Paul?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I was referring to the craftsmen of the Middle Ages, who were not regarded as artists because there was no conception of art at that time.

    Yes, but that's a very narrow example. Somehow you deduce from the fact that medieval Europeans had no conception of art that preceding cultures didn't either, and that contemporary cultures elsewhere didn't either, or that if they did it doesn't matter because it's the definition of art given by Europeans starting from the Quattrocento that makes everything else in world's history "Art". And that's just dumb, not to mention incredibly culturally insensitive. This idea of legitimacy through "rediscovery" smacks of how Europeans "discovered" the rest of the already-populated world.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Of course not. I said they were rediscovered. I was referring to the craftsmen of the Middle Ages, who were not regarded as artists because there was no conception of art at that time.

    They were artists in their own time, but were then rediscovered centuries later, but art was invented in the 15th century?

    How can they have been artists producing art if art wasn't invented yet?

    This looks a little bit like art to me. As does this, this, and this. All pre-15th century, some even non-European.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    has been noted by more than one other, it closely resembles a woman's genitals: a vulva, with labia, clitorus, introitus, some hair, and even the hint of an anus.

    So it IS Art then.
    I'm glad we settled that one.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    C'mon you guys, shuddup... Litterick's playing you. Right? No one could be that stupid, could they?

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    No one could be that stupid, could they?

    Nah, Paul's not stupid but he is adept at the ancient British ART of the windup, speshly with some Italians.
    ;-)
    I thought yo'all would have got that when he said St Kevin's Arcade was built by the Romans.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Nah, Paul's not stupid but he is adept at the ancient British ART of the windup, speshly with some Italians.

    I'd be very happy if that was the case.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    I thought yo'all would have got that when he said St Kevin's Arcade was built by the Romans.

    You have to admit it would make sense given the strong Vandal influence in the rest of the CBD.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Can I ask where your history of art comes from, Paul?

    Here, here and here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    Sam F

    You have to admit it would make sense given the strong Vandal influence in the rest of the CBD

    for the WIN.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    How can they have been artists producing art if art wasn't invented yet?

    It is not callled the Renaissance for nothing. It had been largely forgotten. It was rediscovered, by Florentines and Flemings. Our post-Mediaeval notions of art stem from that rediscovery, such as the idea of the artist as a creative individual who used his imagination, rather than a craftsman who owed his living to his guild and worked according to traditional ideas.

    Somehow you deduce from the fact that medieval Europeans had no conception of art that preceding cultures didn't either, and that contemporary cultures elsewhere didn't either, or that if they did it doesn't matter because it's the definition of art given by Europeans starting from the Quattrocento that makes everything else in world's history "Art". And that's just dumb, not to mention incredibly culturally insensitive. This idea of legitimacy through "rediscovery" smacks of how Europeans "discovered" the rest of the already-populated world.

    Show me the evidence of these cultures having a conception of art. Do you expect me to abandon truth in favour of cultural sensitivity? You seem determined to make this an argument about race and class.

    You have to admit it would make sense given the strong Vandal influence in the rest of the CBD.

    LOL. To make myself clear, St Kevin's and some other buildings on K Road are modelled after Roman buildings and the writing of Vitruvius.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Show me the evidence of these cultures having a conception of art. Do you expect me to abandon truth in favour of cultural sensitivity? You seem determined to make this an argument about race and class.

    How about you prove to me that the Greeks, the Chinese, the Japanese and the Maori - who all made objects designed for pure aesthetic pleasure - *didn't* have a conception of art? Because surely if they didn't you'd be hard pressed to explain how come they made all that fantastically sophisticated and accomplished art. You think they were holding a paintbrush or a chisel and they happened to slip or something?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    This increasingly feels like a silly discussion. Despite the abundent evidence of ancient art from many cultures, this art was not properly conceived until the European Renaissance came along. Theoretically then, if Europe hadn't had a renaissance, art still might not exist, despite being around walls and objects for thousands of years.

    Show me the evidence of these cultures having a conception of art.

    They made art. Did they not know what they were doing? You seem to have reduced the 'art tent' to a European style post-15th century pup tent with only white men at the back.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    How about you prove to me...

    Come to think of it: don't. I'm finding this conversation deeply unpleasant and to be honest I don't have time for this crap.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Giovanni, you have made it unpleasant. Perhaps if you came up with reasoned arguments rather than trying to shout me down with your prejudices, we might have made some progress.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    They made art. Did they not know what they were doing?

    The identification of some activities as art is a European phenomenon. There were comparable practices in China and Japan but not an art culture of the kind that Europe developed. I don't think such practices or such a culture developed elsewhere.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Paul, it does seem that your definition of 'discovering' art is a bit like how all those explorers back in colonial times went off and 'discovered' new countries, completely ignoring or conveniently overlooking any indigenous peoples who happened to have been living there for quite a while, who were usually a bit surprised to be told that up until now they hadn't actually existed.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    No, Rich, quite the reverse; I am saying that art is a construct, that it is a set of practices that were devised in 15th Century Europe and considerably refined in the 18th Century. My opponents in this argument are taking the essentialist and universalist lines: that art is somehow natural and that it is found everywhere. So they see traditional practices of indigenous peoples that are similar to art in some respects and conclude that they are seeing art. This is the imperialist fallacy, if you will, to assume that other peoples are like us.

    Anway, back to the fray. Funfacts: those Ancient Greeks and those slightly less Ancient Romans had no word for art. As Larry Shiner (The Invention of Art, Chicago 2001) puts it: "Techne/ars embraced things as diverse as carpentry and poety, shoemaking and medicine, sculpture and horse breaking."

    Same goes for the Chinese: Quoting Craig Clunas , Shiner says "no one in China grouped painting, sculpture, ceramics and calligraphy together as objects 'constituting part of the same field of inquiry.'"

    The Japanese as well had no collective name for art until the 19th Century. Why the 19th Century in both countries? Because that is when the Europeans started buying their artefacts. The idea of art was exported as a result of trade.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Oh, I understand now. Your saying it's like looking at a vacuum cleaner and calling it a Hoover.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Perhaps more like looking at a roadsign and assuming it is an abstract painting, or reading the painted instruction on the road as "child that mind."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

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