Art and Suffering

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  • Stev
    Member
    • Jan 2011
    • 54

    #46
    OK Daizan, in my defence I would like to point out that what I actually said was that I was not speaking of the generalised faux artist poverty.
    I had noted your previous 'gutter' comment and realised you had come from a hard place, I was not suggesting at all that hard place was the faux artist poverty, as you may have read in a previous post it was the homeless that had come from all sorts of hard places that for three years I was involved in helping so when I saw the word gutter I knew not to judge. I was actually in my stumbling way trying to acknowledge my cynicism, agreeing with your previous comment and yet defending, not that I care to defend, my point about poverty is not conducive to self expression.
    I do care if I have annoyed you or brought up stuff, for which I apologise, because what you have said here in this thread has my respect.

    Comment

    • Byokan
      Treeleaf Unsui
      • Apr 2014
      • 4288

      #47
      Aw, lets not fight. As Daizan said at the beginning, it’s all very subjective. Part of that is because people define art differently. It sounds like Stev is talking about Art, high art, fine art, which of course does require training and materials and time and space. Some of us -- maybe the less artistic! -- define art in a much broader way. To me, art (little a) is also found in craft, knitting a hat, or cooking. It’s arranging your altar in a pleasing way. It’s making up a dumb song for your kitty with her name in it. Doing the chicken dance at your daughters wedding. Growing flowers near the front door. Singing to a crying baby. Writing a love poem to your sweetie. Thinking of a creative solution to a problem at work. Turning a witty phrase to make people laugh. There used to be a drunken homeless guy that would make up poems and shout them out at the bus stop. Why? Just to connect, I think. The graffiti art in areas where the drug addicts and gangs gathered in Seattle was phenomenal. When I was a wee thing, a group of girls used to sit in a circle on the playground and make up stories, drawing pictures in the dirt with a stick! All of this arises just from being human and living day to day. But you know, for many years I too thought Art was just the higher arts. Now I feel differently. There’s no right or wrong. I think if you have a broad definition and look around, you'll see art everywhere. A narrower, more specific definition makes art a rarity.

      Back to the OP, I do think deep suffering, poverty, hunger, loss of freedom, illness, etc. can actually leave people with very little to hold onto except art. I’d guess that in those terrible situations, telling stories of hope or singing a song to comfort would be incredibly valuable and a natural thing to do. Check out this art from a concentration camp:
      (…read in spanish) Subscribe to Kurioso in english . Terezín was the nazi concentration camp located at Prague’s outskirts. The “Lobby of the hell” was the last stop for 150.000 Jews and 15.0…


      Now if you don’t consider a child’s drawing Art, then this has no relevance. It's subjective.

      Gassho
      Lisa
      sat today
      and know very little about art really
      Last edited by Byokan; 04-16-2015, 08:21 PM.
      展道 渺寛 Tendō Byōkan
      Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.

      Comment

      • Stev
        Member
        • Jan 2011
        • 54

        #48
        Thanks for the holocaust art which obviously is art from suffering, it shows suffering it oozes suffering and anyone who can call that beauty is well I have no words for them. I cannot see any beauty in that art just deep lost suffering.


        sat today
        Last edited by Stev; 04-16-2015, 08:34 PM.

        Comment

        • Ansan

          #49
          Originally posted by raindrop
          Aw, lets not fight. As Daizan said at the beginning, it’s all very subjective. Part of that is because people define art differently. It sounds like Stev is talking about Art, high art, fine art, which of course does require training and materials and time and space. Some of us -- maybe the less artistic! -- define art in a much broader way. To me, art (little a) is also found in craft, knitting a hat, or cooking. It’s arranging your altar in a pleasing way. It’s making up a dumb song for your kitty with her name in it. Doing the chicken dance at your daughters wedding. Growing flowers near the front door. Singing to a crying baby. Writing a love poem to your sweetie. Thinking of a creative solution to a problem at work. Turning a witty phrase to make people laugh. There used to be a drunken homeless guy that would make up poems and shout them out at the bus stop. Why? Just to connect, I think. The graffiti art in areas where the drug addicts and gangs gathered in Seattle was phenomenal. When I was a wee thing, a group of girls used to sit in a circle on the playground and make up stories, drawing pictures in the dirt with a stick! All of this arises just from being human and living day to day. But you know, for many years I too thought Art was just the higher arts. Now I feel differently. There’s no right or wrong. I think if you have a broad definition and look around, you'll see art everywhere. A narrower, more specific definition makes art a rarity.

          Back to the OP, I do think deep suffering, poverty, hunger, loss of freedom, illness, etc. can actually leave people with very little to hold onto except art. I’d guess that in those terrible situations, telling stories of hope or singing a song to comfort would be incredibly valuable and a natural thing to do. Check out this art from a concentration camp:
          (…read in spanish) Subscribe to Kurioso in english . Terezín was the nazi concentration camp located at Prague’s outskirts. The “Lobby of the hell” was the last stop for 150.000 Jews and 15.0…


          Now if you don’t consider a child’s drawing Art, then this has no relevance. It's subjective.

          Gassho
          Lisa
          sat today
          and know very little about art really
          Lisa, you are an artist of the highest kind...you see love and life and meaning beyond tools and words. Thank you for this lovely comment that opens all eyes to what art...big or little a/A...is. Your words should reverberate throughout this forum. Thank you for your wisdom and eloquence.

          Gassho,
          Ansan

          SatToday

          Comment

          • Byokan
            Treeleaf Unsui
            • Apr 2014
            • 4288

            #50
            Oh, Ansan. Thank you for saying that, but you give me far too much credit. It really is that I have very low standards! lol And maybe I'm just wearing rose-colored glasses. But if this makes the world seem full of meaning and beauty, I am glad. After all things only have the meaning that we give them. I do see incredible beauty in those holocaust drawings. Not in the literal events they depict, but in the hope and bravery of a woman to secretly teach drawing in a concentration camp, and in the willingness of the children to share their experience, and their creativity and skill in doing so.



            Gassho
            Lisa
            sat today
            Last edited by Byokan; 04-16-2015, 09:08 PM.
            展道 渺寛 Tendō Byōkan
            Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.

            Comment

            • RichardH
              Member
              • Nov 2011
              • 2800

              #51
              Originally posted by Stev
              OK Daizan, in my defence I would like to point out that what I actually said was that I was not speaking of the generalised faux artist poverty.
              I had noted your previous 'gutter' comment and realised you had come from a hard place, I was not suggesting at all that hard place was the faux artist poverty, as you may have read in a previous post it was the homeless that had come from all sorts of hard places that for three years I was involved in helping so when I saw the word gutter I knew not to judge. I was actually in my stumbling way trying to acknowledge my cynicism, agreeing with your previous comment and yet defending, not that I care to defend, my point about poverty is not conducive to self expression.
              I do care if I have annoyed you or brought up stuff, for which I apologise, because what you have said here in this thread has my respect.
              Hi Stev.. You have not annoyed me. The subject of poverty doesn't annoy me or have any discomfort for me. But the subject of art.. or Art. Well , yes that does annoy.

              Cynicism about art and the art scene is very understandable, because there is much cynicism within it. The "gallery scene" does depend on the patronage of the wealthy. The wealthy buy my work through galleries. That alone is not a problem. Throughout history art (as well as monastic or religious communities) have been supported by wealthy people, by princes and prominent families.
              What causes eyes to roll is the shmoozing, the networking, and the gaming of fame. There is a perception that talent is not needed to make it in the Art scene, and there is some truth to that. This is because the craft element of art is no longer the measure of its quality or value. Most people who do not have a special interest in art, measure it by the craft element... the sense of something extra-ordinary is being achieved, and they smell something fishy in the post-modern cleverness "that my kid can do", or in installations that are like in-jokes on signs and meanings meant for an elite. There is and always will be bullshit and bullshitting. There will always be trendiness, and shmoozing, and elites spinning off into their own little world. But, there are also people with vision and talent and a calling, just as there have always been. I know or have known many artists of all kinds ..some serious, some not, some into just being artists, some fumbling along... but everyone has had thier own story, and the beautiful thing about today is that things have blown wide open. There is no elite saying what is real art and what isn't. It is a free-for-all. There is so much going on that can't be defined by an "ism". There are people coming from every kind of background..


              now I'm going to forget about "Art" and soak in a tub.


              Gassho
              Daizan

              sat today
              Last edited by RichardH; 04-16-2015, 09:26 PM.

              Comment

              • Byrne
                Member
                • Dec 2014
                • 371

                #52
                When America was still 13 colonies, a group of slaves from Algeria rose up near what is now Charleston South Carolinia. They beheaded several white people and marched along the Edisto river headed in hopes of reaching St Augustine where they could join the Spanish army convert to Catholicism and become free men.

                Along the way they beat on drums sending coded signals in the syncopated rhythms to other slaves to join their militia. Eventually the group grew to 100 men. They were eventually caught by a militia set up by all 13 colonies. Their severed heads were lined along a road that is now highway 17 that connects Charleston to Savannah GA. I've driven that road many many times. I will be on it next week as a matter of fact.

                In South Carolinia and and many other colonies drums became forbidden. In 1969 the city of Charleston bulldozed an African burial ground near the original settlement. The site contained many cultural artifacts, all destroyed. Today a plaque there swears it was a "cultural misunderstanding" I'm not kidding.

                No one can deny the importance and influence of black music and art in American culture. Not just the USA, but the entire hemisphere from the top down and consequently the rest of the world too.

                gassho

                Sat Today

                Comment

                • Stev
                  Member
                  • Jan 2011
                  • 54

                  #53
                  raindrop.
                  " When I was a wee thing, a group of girls used to sit in a circle on the playground and make up stories, drawing pictures in the dirt with a stick!"

                  When you were a wee thing at school in a wealthy free country most of the world's wee things had no school to go to, in fact even today wee girls like you once were in some countries cannot go to school at all. The 2014 Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head just because she wanted to go to school.

                  raindrop, you tried to define my definition of art, let me tell you my art is no different from your art, for all I care, picking one's nose could be art.
                  I guess I will never understand why you lot do not understand you live a privileged life in which you have the time and freedom to do your art.

                  Comment

                  • Byrne
                    Member
                    • Dec 2014
                    • 371

                    #54
                    Stev,

                    A lot of people make art. Including people living in poverty. Art is sometimes a means for people to get out of poverty. Art is sometimes useless.

                    Gassho

                    Sat Today

                    Comment

                    • Byokan
                      Treeleaf Unsui
                      • Apr 2014
                      • 4288

                      #55
                      Originally posted by Stev
                      raindrop.
                      " When I was a wee thing, a group of girls used to sit in a circle on the playground and make up stories, drawing pictures in the dirt with a stick!"

                      When you were a wee thing at school in a wealthy free country most of the world's wee things had no school to go to, in fact even today wee girls like you once were in some countries cannot go to school at all. The 2014 Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head just because she wanted to go to school.

                      raindrop, you tried to define my definition of art, let me tell you my art is no different from your art, for all I care, picking one's nose could be art.
                      I guess I will never understand why you lot do not understand you live a privileged life in which you have the time and freedom to do your art.
                      Hi Stev,

                      I’m truly sorry if it seemed like I was negating or trying to redefine your definition of art. My words seem to have fallen short of my intentions. In fact I do accept and respect your definition and was trying to express the subjectivity of a thing like art, which would in fact defend and validate your viewpoint and many others as well. In sharing my own definition I truly did not mean to place it over yours in any way. My hope for a conversation like this is to explore people’s differing views together, as a way to examine and expand our understanding, not to figure out who is right and who is wrong. No need to circle the wagons or divide ourselves. Everyone here is describing an aspect of the larger truth, their own little piece of it; no one has the whole thing.

                      As to "you lot" (me lot?) (we lot?) not understanding our privilege and the true suffering of others: I don't know how to demonstrate my understanding of that, except by manifesting it in action; putting the rubber to the road in getting out there and working one-on-one to empower and comfort the suffering and the needy. There's art in that too. If you ask me. Which no one did.
                      Seriously, I respect your viewpoint Stev, and your passion.

                      Gassho
                      Lisa
                      sat today
                      展道 渺寛 Tendō Byōkan
                      Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.

                      Comment

                      • Oheso
                        Member
                        • Jan 2013
                        • 294

                        #56
                        gassho, I believe that art is born from an abundance available to all. physical poverty and satiation can both be hindrances to perceiving its subtle obviousness. I think its not a matter of its being as necessary as anything else, everything's necessary. art is. there is art.

                        I sat today.

                        O
                        Last edited by Oheso; 04-17-2015, 03:35 PM.
                        and neither are they otherwise.

                        Comment

                        • Troy
                          Member
                          • Sep 2013
                          • 1318

                          #57
                          We all suffer. That is why we are here.


                          ..sat2day•

                          Comment

                          • BillH
                            Member
                            • Mar 2015
                            • 28

                            #58
                            Zen saying:

                            "Do not seek the truth, only cease to cherish your opinions."

                            Gassho,

                            Bill

                            Comment

                            • Kokuu
                              Treeleaf Priest
                              • Nov 2012
                              • 6785

                              #59
                              "Once, after a discussion of the doctrine, Dōgen instructed:
                              It is not good to overwhelm another person with argument, even when he is wrong and you are right. Yet it is also not right to give up too easily, saying, "I am wrong", when you have every reason to believe that you yourself are right. The best way is to dfop the argument naturally, without pressing the other person or falsely admitting that you yourself are wrong. If you don't listen to his arguments and don't let them bother you, he will do the same and not become angry. This is something to watch carefully."

                              -- Shobogenzo Zuimonki I:10.


                              Gassho
                              Kokuu
                              #sittedtoday

                              Comment

                              • Mp

                                #60
                                Originally posted by Kokuu
                                "Once, after a discussion of the doctrine, Dōgen instructed:
                                It is not good to overwhelm another person with argument, even when he is wrong and you are right. Yet it is also not right to give up too easily, saying, "I am wrong", when you have every reason to believe that you yourself are right. The best way is to dfop the argument naturally, without pressing the other person or falsely admitting that you yourself are wrong. If you don't listen to his arguments and don't let them bother you, he will do the same and not become angry. This is something to watch carefully."

                                -- Shobogenzo Zuimonki I:10.


                                Gassho
                                Kokuu
                                #sittedtoday
                                Very nice! =)

                                Gassho
                                Shingen

                                SatToday

                                Comment

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