Monday, October 12, 2015
In Jonathan Gruber's documentary 'Miriam Beerman: Expressing the Chaos', Beerman states in an interview that she does not like to talk about the meaning of her work. She says that she believes what her work means to a person is very important, and telling them what it means would only lessen it's impact. This got me thinking about the subjectivity of art, which is something that has always interested me a lot. Marshall McLuhan also mentions this in The Medium is the Massage, saying that "Media, by altering the environment, evoke in us unique ratios of sense perceptions." (41) In other words, despite the fact that these experiences as a whole may create cultural change, each persons experience of media is unique. This topic is a complicated one, which brings up many questions. Does an artist have the right to tell people how to interpret their work? Do people have the right to ignore the artist's intention in favor of their own interpretations? Which matters more, the interpretation of the artist, or that of those experiencing the art? Are their certain people who should be allowed to reinterpret and artists work and others who should not? If so, how do we decide who those people are? Personally, I have always believed that it is unfair of an artist to tell people how or how not to interpret their art. As an artists myself, however, I also understand that sometimes the urge to explain your intentions is hard to resist. In the end, however, I believe that an artist should learn to trust those that appreciate their work to make a meaningful interpretation, regardless of whether said interpretation is 'the right one'.