Re: realistic art

Vance Geiger (geiger@PEGASUS.CC.UCF.EDU)
Mon, 31 Jul 1995 23:07:52 -0400

Maureen Korp writes:

All art is abstracted, sometimes subtly, sometimes boldly.
Realism as a style of art is no more "realistic" than any
other style of art.

Maureen Korp then gives a wonderful example in the comparison of
Greek and Egyptian art.

Maureen I have saved your post and wish I had your slides.

The statement the truth is stranger than fiction is now so cliche
that few really give any thought to what it really means. People
are so obsessed with art as creativity that they appear almost
incapable of realizing that in real life contingency rules while
in art (and fiction for that matter) contingency has no place.
The variance in the "stuff" that happens to us in our daily lives
is so much more varied and contingent, i.e. unpredictable, in
comparison to what is art that the real question becomes, why are
people so susceptible to perceiving art as so much more of a
surprise. Visual artists (and writers) construct everything they
produce very carefully (that is how they get to be called
skilled). The will to belief in ideology, in determinisms, is so
powerful as a result of that godawful big brain's need to know
that people completely disregard how much of their daily life is
entirely their own creation.

Consider the following regarding myths and written by me.

The effectiveness of myths lay in their persistence in the face
of tests. The only way to test myths is in the real world where
contingency operates. In movies and on TV, or even in books,
contingency does not operate. Someone is making all the
decisions about what will happen, someone is determining the
sequence of events, the images, the language. All of this stuff
is art, in that in art contingency is not the operant condition,
intention is. Within certain limits people can control events
and outcomes. People can impose intention on the final product,
the thing produced. Artistic impressions of real life suspend
contingency and lend a sense of control over events that is
mythic, imagined, mental, a big brain thing. The phrase "truth
is stranger than fiction" comes to mind. Yes, real life is
stranger than fiction because contingency operates in real life
but not in fiction.

True, yes?

vance geiger