Saturday, December 11, 2010

What's real?

Last weekend Trev and I went to see the Gotan Project. It was great. From the moment the musicians walked through the floor to ceiling fringed curtains in their 3- piece suits and fedora hats it was an exhilarating blend of live music and new technology. I love it when artists hit the perfect balance between old and new. Potters often have arcane arguments (mainly at conferences and sometimes on arcane e-mail applications) about what is "real" pottery. It is implied that the only "real" potters are those who make the work from start to finish with their own hands. This artisan approach emphasizes skill over concept. When I was at art college the opposite was true of the painting department, so much so that I graduated with a major in painting without ever using oil paint at all!

Both approaches are ridiculous. Every kind of art is real. The only thing to ask when feeling art is "Does it move me?". How it is made and what tools are used, are all subservient to the final result. The Gotan Project captured the exhilaration and warmth of live music with the accordian, violin, guitars, grand piano and beautiful voice of Cristina Vilallonga while the two musicans on the mixing desk were using amazing new technology which I can't even really describe (it had flashing lights and computers and samples of voices and music). Each element heightened the essential values of the others until there was a glorious blend of old and new with the geeks on the computers one minute, and hitting an ancient percussive instrument known as a cow bell the next!


Kelly said...

I love Gotan Project! How lucky you were to see them!!
and you are right about "real art". Does it move you? Yes? Then it's real.

gerry said...

Give me unreal every time.Saw Gotan@ Womadelaide but couldn't penetrate it. Perhaps it was too hard to concentrate after all of that Chai!

Lisa said...

Thank you for this. As a new student of pottery I came across just such a discussion recently and was momentarily intimidated. Then I was reminded how often similar conversations occur in the photography world, and how little it all really means.

In the end, it is the work that speaks for itself.