As I was thinking about a solution to an issue I’m dealing with in my M.A dissertation, a thought about art came up in my mind like a thief, stealing away my focus. Instead of fighting it, I decided to listen to what this thought has to say.
Now, when I say art, I’m referring to all forms of art–film, poetry, prose, painting, dancing, architecture, tattoo, fashion etc. Often, when I encounter art, I would ask questions like, “what does it mean?” “What was the artist thinking about when he/she was creating this?” Even in literary study, an area where I’m in at the moment, scholars and critics often examine meanings, structure, strategies, technicality, compatibility or relevance of such art work to the society, to humanity, and so forth. I notice that not so many people ask the question: “What does art do to me?” I think this is an important question to ask upon encountering art, for I believe it opens one’s eyes into seeing art as a reflection of his/her “self.” And it allows freedom in the production of truth–“truth” that is not influenced by the political and social “hegemonic power” that have constructed the objective sense/meaning of “truth.”
I think, to answer the question, “what does art do to me?” I really have to experience the art “naked,” as in detached from all my identities, personas–the social masks, and experience art through the eyes of a newborn baby, or my true “self,” which I’m not sure what “true self” truly means, but I might have a subjective idea of how it feels like.
What do you think? What is art to you? How do you experience art? Or perhaps you don’t really care about art, why?