понеділок, лютого 21, 2005

Art or not really? Who's to say.

Many hours spent in discussion of what makes something art never produced a convincing answer in my mind. And a recent visit to the AGO only intensified the question. What makes a drawing a ‘piece of art’? Even more importantly, what makes it special, sets it aside from other art and worthy of a space in an Art Gallery? Here are some of the criteria suggested to me by a variety of people:
- Creativity and novelty. Art is supposed to be original, creative, pushing the lines of familiarity. Art is reactionary to what is known; a step ahead of the present. But in that case the phrase ‘art is timeless’ seems to lose its meaning.
- The statement. For example the Group of Seven art. I don’t really like it (I know that I am running a risk of being stoned for these blasphemous words since I am on Canadian soil, but I had to get this of my chest). But I do appreciate the statement, a search for the meaning of a distinctively Canadian artistic identity.
- Perfection of technique. DaVinci focused on the smallest details of both the technique and the content of his paintings. Defining art by such criteria would mean putting to shame many of the new artists who consider gluing a BigMac to an art stand and signing it to be the next step in art history. Basically, a great portion of Data Art (sp?) is sent down the drain.
- Being a means of communication. Baroque art: a painting is a means of expressing emotions through everything from the size of the piece to the amount of light used to facial expressions of the personages.
- Aesthetic appeal. But isn’t beauty in the eye of the beholder? For some the art of Monet may be defining the aesthetically pleasing (I may or may not be one of those people), but some don’t find it all that beautiful. Does it therefore diminish its artistic value?
- Art becomes art when somebody says it is. Well, no comment.

And that is just visual art, painting. The sculpture, theatre, music, etc. can make for a whole different discussion. The question of Christian art stands on its own as well.

I have to admit that choosing what I personally call good art I usually go with simple beauty of a piece and/or the depth of its statement (arrogantly assuming that I am ‘reading’ it right). So if anybody has a better insight or suggestions on where to look, please share.

вівторок, лютого 08, 2005

Another fascinating thing I learned from my roommate***

So this is what happens when boy meets girl...

(tried, tested, and true!)

1. Denial / Defensiveness √ includes rise of feelings
a) denial to yourself
b) defensiveness
c) denial to others
d) lying

2. Nervousness / Anxiety
a) sleep disorders
b) food abnormalities
c) sharp intakes of breath and / or minor panic attacks
d) speech impairment

3. Over-analyzation
a) yes / no ???
b) stalker instincts arise / severe avoidance
c) positive / negative feedback
d) your movements and actions

4. Acceptance / Admittance
a) sneaky entry into conversation
b) out of denial
c) slow release of information
d) comfort level rises

5. Extreme Highs and Lows
a) happiness depends on person
b) severe mood swings
c) random outbursts of joy
* first personal, then public (occasionally a mix) *

6. Organization
a) “accidental” bump-ins
b) memorization of schedule
c) secret planning of events
d) drop all activities when interrupted
e) change plans at last minute and planning around person

a) inevitable
b) leads to an extreme emotion
c) affects your mood, sleep habits, ability to function and life in general for weeks after
d) i) ends critical stage study
- see stage study part II (released 2004)
ii) start back at stage 1 with new potential
iii) begins new stage
- see V-R-T (Post-Critical Stage Study)
iv) possible continual subsequent talks

* possible to be in more than 1 stage at any given time *
* possible to skip and retreat stages, but important to complete eventually *
* if you think you’re not in a stage, you are in denial!! *
* only a guide, use with discretion *


***study conducted by the ladies of dorm 32 (2003-2004)

пʼятниця, лютого 04, 2005

...I simply remember my favourite things...

After a week of being sick and still making my way to school every morning through snow and bitter cold (ok, maybe I am dramatizing a little), life is finally picking up. And this morning I was thinking about all the things that I love about it. So here they are, in no particular order, and by no means exhaustive:

1 God, my Creator and Saviour
2 my family
3 The Word of God
4 the Church
5 surprises
6 camping trips when you go so far from everything familiar that you wonder if civilization and all its ‘achievements’ are just a product of your imagination
7 night conversations
8 fog (here comes the mystery)
9 jazz, especially live
10 books that keep you up till morning
11 pictures (here’s to all the good times!)
12 hugs
13 dogs, the big ones
14 cellos (and all other string instruments)
15 worship, the kind that pleases our Lord
16 chocolate
17 black coffee in the morning
18 cozy and fun socks
19 TRAVELING – anywhere, anytime!
20 foreign languages
21 being a student
22 random adventures
23 choral music performed in beautiful churches
24 baths after a long day
25 butterflies
26 maps
27 sleeping outside
28 teddy bears
29 candles and incense
30 beaches, preferably with no people
31 angels
32 handwritten letters
33 old cathedrals when there is nobody else there (or at any time, really)
34 singing
35 take-off and lending in an airplane
36 sushi and other sea food
37 rollercoasters
38 lilies of the valley
39 the color green
40 pomegranates
41 finding perfect gifts for people
42 huge windows
43 folklore
44 open spaces
45 listening – to God, people, music, nature...
46 mountains – declaring the glory of the Lord!
47 chivalry, the dying art
48 cognac
49 understanding (having that moment of epiphany when a light bulb goes on in my head and world starts to make sense)
50 waking up to bright sunlight or sunrise and hearing the birds sing
51 musicals (The hills are alive with the sound… hmm, ok, I’m done)
52 formal attire, especially evening dresses
53 elegance in things and people
54 honesty, even if I don’t want to hear it
55 chamber music
56 orthodox churches and iconography
57 the sound of falling water
58 fast motion (driving, flying, etc.)
59 encouraging and uplifting my friends
60 being able to express myself
61 strawberries
62 new beginnings – starting a book, a semester, a friendship
63 the moments of perfect peace – they are worth waiting for
64 receiving mail
65 walks in the pouring rain and watching the lightnings
66 ”silver white winter that melts into spring” – if somebody already said it better…
67 my grandmother’s baking
68 oriental cultures, as little as I know about them
69 wise advice
70 finishing something that I worked hard on and am satisfied with
71 having plants or pets where I live. People are not meant to be the only living form. This applies to only to the zoos and Canadian North
72 green tea with jasmine
73 small towns in Europe – it sometimes seems that time is not a dimension of life there
74 thoughtful art
75 horses
76 feeling whole; like after communion or a nice chat with God
77 daydreaming