Monday, April 5, 2010

Post for April 7

Anthony Stevens argues that "the symbolism of great art [...] leads us into the archetypal realm so as to reveal the eternal in the transitory, the universal in the particular" and quotes Anthony Storr as claiming that "The greatest artists are able to plumb their own depths, and bring to the surface aspects of those basic emotions which are common to all mankind" (p. 65).

Based on this definition of artistic "greatness," describe a work of art (visual, literary, or auditory) that meets this standard and allows you (as the viewer, reader, or listener) to experience the eternal and universal or vicariously experience "those basic emotions which are common to all mankind."

For example, one of my favorite books of photography is called On This Site by Joel Sternfeld. Sternfeld revisits scenes of tragedy years after the events occured and photographs these sites that to the everyday eye look sedate and mundane. However, when we know the history, these photographs take on a much more haunted aspect and remind me of the mystery (and tragedy) that permeates every place (and everything) and of which we are so often unaware. If you're curious as to what these photographs look like, here's a link: