Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Interview with Agnes Martin

Summary: Interview with Agnes Martin; 1997
During this video interview with Agnes Martin, she talks about topics surrounding her work. She appears a very calm, matured, and centered person that shows intense expressions with her eyes and forehead. She talks about how art is based on emotional response and personal inspiration. She laughs at the idea that art is something to intellectualize and write about. Agnes Martin mentions that music is the, “highest form of art,” because it evokes “eight times” more of an emotional response than other art forms. She repeatedly mentions that her mind is empty, and this is what allows her to recognize her inspiration. She “paints what is without cause.”
Discussion Questions: Interview with Agnes Martin; 1997

What does Agnes Martin mean when she talks about an emotional response beyond nature?
How is an emotional response measured?
Why is humility and modesty valuable?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag

Summary: Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag; 1964

Against Interpretation specifically talks about the history of interpretation and how it is problematic within the arts. Susan Sontag starts by defining interpretation as literally translating one thing to another. She compares interpretation to pollution, and states, “interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art.” Sontag argues that interpreting the content of art falsely separates form from content and tames art into something more manageable and understandable. She continues to write about painting, poetry, literature, and film, and how each has been affected by and combated against interpretation throughout the separate histories. Sontag finishes by stating that commentary on art should be less about it’s meaning and more about what it is.

Discussion questions: Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag; 1964

Is Susan Sontag suggesting that art should be without meaning, or that the meaning should not be interpreted and made public by a critic?
Why do we talk about art in school like this essay does not exist?
Why is content valued over form?