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Art Non-fiction

Art Must Never Develop

Bullet thoughts on a broad topic:

  • Culture has a cyclical life, with birth, maturity, death, and rebirth.
  • “Golden Ages” typically happen during cultural maturity.
  • Separations of people into classes are strongest before cultural death.
  • Revolutions, or death/rebirth phases of culture, come about in response to class separation.
  • The democratic fight is on the side of the people taken as a whole.
  • The hegemonic fight is on the side of the ruling class.
  • A cultural “Golden Age” is defined as the time when developments in intellect are successfully disseminated across a large percentage of the populous.
  • The ruling class typically is responsible for this development and dissemination.
  • The majority of the populous is mediocre and lazy.
  • Crap. What a conclusion.
  • By this token, revolutions are mostly setbacks to cultural development.
  • Is art created during the death/rebirth of culture less developed than art created during cultural maturity?
  • It cannot be that Polykleitos’ Doryphoros is a higher work of art than De Kooning’s Woman I. The former is a distilled formula, the latter is a banner for a new world order.
  • Perhaps we must see art not as a higher form of the intellect to be grasped, but as an actor who is in constant need of new roles, and is never allowed to practice.
  • Art is the most talented person we know, who has a knack for meeting the moment. Our job is simply to challenge it with unprecedented moments.
  • Art must never develop.
  • We must be so much more urgent with art than we consider possible.
  • We must make the target move too fast to hit, then we must attempt to hit it.

 

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Polykleitos, Doryphoros, 5th century BC. Image via livescience.com
Willem de Kooning, Woman I, 1952. Image via phaidon.com

By the.vonz.himanen

Ivan Himanen is an architect, writer, and artist based in New York City.

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