Tuesday, April 2

When Art Makes Us Cry

Kannu and Diya. 

Here's an interesting article on art. Art can be anything man made. It can be a window, a painting, a carburettor, a sculpture, a film, opera, song, book, a couch. Something man made. 

Much art is pedestrian. You pass on by. Some makes you stop and say 'thats nice' and walk on. Few will make you stop and observe and think. Extremely rarely will you cry. 

But it has to speak to you. Deep inside your heart. Where the feeling of beauty or sorrow or love or grief or whatever emotion reaches deep inside and squeezes your heart and makes you cry. 

Not many people experience this, kids. It could be because they are afraid to cry. Or aren't looking. Or aren't open. So on and so forth. There is no magic bullet to experience this. 

You could feel this while listening to a story or a hymn, or standing in front of a painting, or watching an opera, or observing a gravestone or a sculpture or just a beautiful photograph. This has happened luckily to me and I can only wish that you feel something like this as well son. 



When Art Makes Us Cry by Francine Prose | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

When Art Makes Us Cry

Francine Prose

Scrovegni Chapel

Detail from Giotto’s Massacre of the Innocents

During the spring of 2010, when Marina Abramović’s retrospective, “The Artist is Present,” was on view at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, it sometimes seemed impossible to open a magazine or newspaper without reading about the artist and her show. I remember feeling curious, admiring, and vaguely irritated. Why, with so few hours in the day, was I spending even five minutes wondering about whether Abramović was exploiting the artists who had volunteered to serve as her apprentices and to reenact (in most cases naked) some of her most physically demanding performance pieces?

I went to see the exhibition and its eponymous centerpiece: the artist, seated in a chair in the museum’s atrium, gazing intently, immobile and in silence, at the audience members who came, one by one, to sit opposite her. As I watched from the sidelines, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen for a while. We chatted about our work, exchanged news of family and friends. Then I left, glad to have seen my friend, but otherwise no more affected by the Abramović show than I had been when I arrived.

So I was surprised and pleased—as I usually am when something persuades me to reconsider an overly hasty judgment—to watch Matthew Akers’s documentary film, Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present, and to realize how much I’d failed to comprehend. Some of what I’d overlooked seems, in retrospect, obvious: spending months in a hard chair, staring at a succession of strangers, was no less punishing and painful than earlier Abramović works which had involved self-mutilation and physical danger. But though I’d read about the intense responses of so many of the visitors who came to experience the artist’s presence, I didn’t—and perhaps couldn’t, unless I’d stayed around for as long as Akers did—register them in my own brief visit to the show.

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