So for this past week I have been reading a lot and viewing art and its interpretation; Ways of Seeing by John Berger is a fascinating insight in to painting and art criticism, and shows the reader how we perceive the world through the eyes of art, exploring the meanings of paintings, photographs and graphic art forms.
It is a brilliant book and do watch the BBC documentaries too, if your studying photography as an art form and would like to know more subscribe to my blog.
Language of Art
Why is it that art really does speak to us regardless of the language we speak, whatever your mother tongue; you are always going to perceive art or a form of art as a language that provokes emotional response to the viewer, whether as a reader or something much more physical like a sculpture.
However what about paintings and photographs they're physical too, but the interpretation of physical is so far removed from an actual presence as in the form of a sculpture, but paintings and photographs do capture a sense of a physical form, from a moment captured in time or rather a moment captured or re-imagined in a physical sense painted with oil or painted with light.
In both forms composition is implementable to the message or sign being conveyed, so in the painting the message can be altered at will, in the photograph it can be in a digital sense.
However if your referring to an organic sense then the photograph or the memory of what was captured, will be ever infinite.
The one aspect about photography is that it really is organic, the moment is captured and it is developed by chemicals and yes more light, it is tangible product.
So too is a painting, the energy that goes in to a painting is much like that of composing a photograph, we want the viewer to be hooked, we want the viewer to ask questions of the piece and we want to provoke a human response, much like the cave paintings, in Lascaux, Southwest France, we want to signify how we perceive the world through our own eyes, through a shared experience.
Looking at the list above, another aspect of art and its interpretation is that of philosophy, yes art is philosophical, it makes us look at ourselves through the eyes of others, the irony is we are all the same in a physical sense, we are born with a brain, we ingest information and somehow this information is scrambled through a series of significant events that happen during our own lives cycle, we begin with a sense of needing stimulation to kick start the psyche in to wanting to ingest knowledge, and that knowledge is always shown with signs or symbols associated with words whatever the language they mean the same thing, much like the Swiss linguist and semiotician Ferdinand de Saussure, we are shown the signifier and the signified.
We learn through a series of signs and those signs are in a sense very physical to a growing and curious child, we are taught through a series of events in a social sense how our lives are cataloged, through experiences except in the real world, those events don't always play out the way the world or rather the elder members of your family would wish for you.
Art and Design
Controversial aspects in photography seem to go hand in hand, is it art to engage the viewer in awe or to engage the viewer in shock. Whatever the interpretation and no matter what side if the fence you are on, art is not without its sense of irony.