Author Archives: sanam Bhandari

Posts by sanam Bhandari

Is Culture a connotation of privilege and elitism?

       In “On receiving the Ruben Dario Award” Julio Cortazar states that “Culture here (Nicaragua) does not have the usual connotations of privilege and elitism which it has on so many circles” and because Culture is integrated into the everyday vocabulary of the people, the masses are more interested in the affairs of their country and are able to “understand complicated speeches and appreciate art.” Do you agree that culture has a connotation of elitism and elegance? If so, does stripping it of its connotations and integrating it into our everyday vocabulary help us attain a state of mind where we strive to learn and grow as a person?

Williams states that Leavis thought that the industrial society has deliberately cheapened our natural resources whereas, William argues that any aspect of culture that denies the value of an industrial society is really irrelevant. Do you agree with Leavis teachings that traditional culture has been degraded due to the industrial society or with Williams that industrial society has given people more real freedom to dispose of our lives?

Raymond Williams felt oppressed by a teashop in Cambridge because the people there insisted that culture is the difference of behavior and speech habit, and showed that they had culture.  Both the authors of  “Culture is ordinary” and “On receiving the Ruben Dario Award” disagree that culture is limited to a certain number of “educated” people and that culture is an intellectual attainment. In your opinion does a person have to be educated to be cultured?

Comments by sanam Bhandari

"In "Aesthetic concepts" Frank Sibley discusses the types of judgements made on art works; one is just pointing out the features of the artwork and the other is applying aesthetic terms, such as delicate,graceful etc, to describe the artwork. According to Sibley, the ability to use aesthetic term to describe artwork requires exercise of taste, perceptiveness and sensitivity for aesthetic appreciation and discrimination of artwork. He also mentions that the use of non-aesthic terms such as "square, bright, round" is not sufficient fully to describe an artwork and to fully describe works of art we must exercise our taste and perceptiveness by looking at previous examples. He then mentions that aesthetic concepts are not condition-governed, which means that the use of aesthetic terms may vary while describing an artwork even though the non aesthetic terms remains the same. For example an art work which is described in terms of qualities characteristics of a delicacy may not be delicate but insipid or anemic. A person first needs to be able to identify the non aesthetic terms of an object to be able to describe it using aesthetic terms. An intelligent person can describe an artwork using aesthetic terms and may be right but if he/she does not have aesthetic taste and perceptiveness he/she will not be able to correctly make aesthetic judgements all the time. He then explains that in order to use aesthetic concepts we learn by looking at examples and apply them new and unique instances. Sibley also mentions that everyone has these "aesthetic" concepts from an early age, and we develop our capability to apply them to describe artworks by exercising our taste, perceptiveness and sensitivity."
--( posted on Nov 22, 2013, commenting on the post Frank Sibley, “Aesthetic concepts” )
"Linda Nochil starts her paper "Why have there been no great women artists?" by discussing how not to answer the question, 'why have there been no great women artists?' Some contemporary feminists attempt to answer this question by saying that there is a difference between greatness in male and female is different which then postulates that there is a difference between a feminine style and a masculine style, which according to Nochil does not exist. Therefore, making the attempt flawed. There is no feminine or masculine style as no common qualities of feminism link the styles of women artists. Another approach to this question is that there have been many great female artists but because of the male dominated society they have been forgotten in the course of time. But, Nochil argues that there have been no great women artists not because they are forgotten but because of they are not provided with the same education that men are. She then goes on to say that although women are getting more equality now a days, men will not grant complete equality to women because they are unwilling to give up the natural order of things, where they have such a great advantage. Many male artists such as Van Gogh, Cezanne, Gaugin and many other faced great hardships in their lives yet they still succeed against all odds. Which then makes us think if van Gogh with his fits and cezanne with his personal problems could make such great art, why could't women? She then says that a very large proportion of artists came from a family of artists, in which the father taught the son his work, however, Nochil says that it would have been different if it were a daughter. She then compares women artists to aristocrats, there has been no great women artist or a great artist from the aristocrats because they have different social responsibility to be devoted towards which, leaves them very little time to devote to professional art production. Women are not given as much opportunities as men to excel in art, she elaborates the fact that women were not allowed to draw a nude model, which was very essential to the training of a young artist. There are many more institutionally maintained discrimination against women, which are universal and prevent women from achieving mere proficiency, much less greatness. Women are deprived of encouragement, educational facilities and rewards that it is incredible that women have persevered and seek profession in art. Women also had to choose between profession or a family but a man did not there fore, it made it more difficult for women to pursue a career in art. The reason there are no great women artists is not because of the lack of individual talent in art but the public's discrimination against women in providing proper education and learning opportunities in art."
--( posted on Nov 19, 2013, commenting on the post Linda Nochlin, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” )
"Frances Berenson, in “Understanding art and understanding people,” discusses the possibility of understanding art of other cultures; where he defines culture as “the whole way of life, material, intellectual, emotional and spiritual, of a given people.” Understanding art of other cultures takes effort and ‘one has to work at it in order to understand it with no guarantee of success.’ He also talks about three levels involved in understanding a piece of art, the first level: where we simply identify music by notes or dance by bodily movements, the second: where we can generically identify them, and third (Subjective meaning): where we try to understand what a particular dance or piece of music means to the performer. To understand the meaning of the artwork to the performer we, according to Berenson, need to know what the words used by the natives to describe art mean to them. He mentions that we can understand the work of art in other cultures and also transfer and develop it into our own; he gives an examples where Arab design of the arabesque in paintings and sculptures have transferred into western dance and music. This he considers an important aspect art, ability to be transferred and developed in different cultures. According to Berenson we often confuse our understanding of something with approving it. We approve or disapprove of something based on our biases which is not favorable while studying a work of art, Therefore, aesthetics has to avoid the cultural bias that arises from using an intellectual approach rather than a personal one."
--( posted on Nov 6, 2013, commenting on the post Frances Berenson, “Understanding Art and Understanding Persons” )
"In "The Work Of Art in the Age of Mechanical reproduction" Walter Benjamin states that “even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space,” which I think is very true. A work of art is a representation of the time and situation it was built in, if the work is reproduced it does not maintain the same “aura” as the original artwork. However, Benjamin also states that reproductions of artwork “can put the copy of the original into situations which would be out of reach for the original itself.” He also states that some people have such a strong sense of universal equality that they even extract uniqueness from the artwork by means of reproduction. Most works of art before were designed to serve in a cut, but slowly became produced for exhibition and looked at art. Early photography was used as a cult of remembrance of loved ones, but it developed into standard evidence for historical occurrence (because of Atget). The change in the use of art work was brought about because the mode of human sense perception changes with humanity’s entire mode of existence."
--( posted on Oct 30, 2013, commenting on the post Walter Benjamin )
"1.My question is: Is having a better knowledge of music allow for one to be able to listen to music, for lack of a better word, better? In the sense of having background knowledge to base your listening experience on. I do agree with Copland that we must listen to music to better appreciate music, and not just read about it. I think having background knowledge is beneficial to understand music however, Copland also says that listening to music requires talent and the ability to open oneself up to musical experience, the ability to open oneself up to musical experience. Learning about music does allow people to understand music, but it is more important to be able to able to enjoy the music and also analyze it at the same time. 3.Francis Sparshott describes that “works of music can be understood, appreciated and enjoyed,” and “that music exists to be appreciated.” Do you agree with this statement or not and why? I do agree with Sparshott that "works of music can be understood, appreciated and enjoyed" however, I do not agree "that music exists to be appreciated." Although most music now a days exists to please people and is more visually appealing than is musically, there are music that are made to send messages to people. Music ignites different feelings in people and some may like it and some may not, but the intention of the artist is not to create something that is appreciated by others."
--( posted on Oct 16, 2013, commenting on the post 10/8 – Copland, Kramer, Sparshott )
"Tolstoy argues that art should be seen as a form of communication and not as an object of beauty. He states that it is wrong for something to be considered art only after the upper class of our society accepts them, however, this phenomenon is true. This might occur because art has a connotation of elitism and education ,and what these people view as art work, is accepted as works of art. This phenomenon occurred in the Barnes' collection. When Barnes started collecting many paintings from impressionists and modernist masters, not many people paid attention to it and disregarded artists in his collection. However, later many art critics started to realize its importance and even though it was still the same art work its value and importance in the art culture increased tremendously because the upper class accepted it as art. Although art, to some extent, can be defined as a transfer of emotions from the creator of the artwork to the observer, it is not the full definition of art. He states that art must evoke the same feeling in the creator and the observer and must bring them as one, which seems to be too extreme. Tolstoy does give various examples to support his claim however, his definition of not is not better than those he deems inaccurate. He states "however poetic, realistic, striking, or interesting, a work may be, it is not a work of art if it does not evoke that feeling of joy and spiritual union with another(the authors) and with others", but this statement is not true as different people can have different reactions to art work. Just because each and every viewer did not feel the same emotion as the creator of the art work does not make it not art. Although he has some valid arguments he did not get closer to defining art."
--( posted on Sep 25, 2013, commenting on the post 9/26 – Tolstoy )
"I do agree with John Dewey statement that " the first stirrings of dissatisfaction and the first intimations of a better future are always found in works of art' because of the fact that throughout time there have been many . Art is a way for people to express themselves and they do it through music, paintings, and literature. Throughout time there have been many art works that have rebelled against and voiced their dissatisfaction on society or a certain issue of the time period. People have written many articles, poems and books voicing problems in society that other people are afraid to speak up about or are unaware of."
--( posted on Sep 12, 2013, commenting on the post Are these statements true? What is the significance of this? )
"Anderson states that art plays a vital role in sustaining fundamental beliefs and values in the Navajo and Yoruba culture. Different forms of graphic and performing arts were used to pass down vital information through the generations which allowed it to sustain itself. Art is a very important means of recording the events of the past, and without these works of art on history a nation or a culture would not be able to thrive and would eventually subside. We know so much about our world's and nation's history through paintings, sculptures, and writings that it allows us to not repeat the mistakes of our past and plan for our future. Therefore, I do agree with Anderson's statement that "art is an absolute necessity"."
--( posted on Sep 11, 2013, commenting on the post Are these statements true? What is the significance of this? )
"I think the authors decided to leave the legal obstacles faced by the state in having the collection moved because the readers would see how unnecessary it was to move the paintings to Philadelphia and how Barnes will was violated. The readers of these articles would view the situations differently if presented with such information. While watching " Art of steal" I felt that the state should not have allowed the move because it was so disrespectful to Barnes' and all his hard work and that the people of Philadelphia museum took advantage of the weak financial state of the foundation and took over it. However, while reading these articles it feels as though the move was a better choice for both the artworks and the public viewers. One could argue that although the collection was moved, Barnes' wishes are still being respected. The collection was relocated because of the lack of funds in the Barnes foundation not to disrespect Barnes. Both Schjeldahl and Filler mention that most of his wishes are being respected. As the articles state the art works remained unlabelled except for the artists name, admission is somewhat limited and there is also no loaning of the artwork to respect Barnes' principle for art appreciation. Educational services are also provided to students. Schjeldahl also mentions " I couldn't imagine that the integrity of the collection would survive. But it does, magnificently'. Although the movement of the Barnes' collection was against Barnes' will it still does respect his principles."
--( posted on Sep 10, 2013, commenting on the post Does it really matter? )