Friday, January 14, 2011

Find Yourself in the Interpretation

I have a story to tell you. It is a story about communication.

In the town where I go to school there is a certain statue. A polished ring of metal supported by an inverted "V" of dark rusted steel and from behind it rises a thin tube of metal bent at an angle just before where it would pass through the ring. I pass by this statue often and it says something to me, but in a language I do not understand. It is, however, insistent, grabbing my attention, making me look at it, wanting to understand what it is saying even though I do not find it aesthetically pleasing.

One thing I have come to realize is that whatever it has to say to me is really a reflection of myself. This is a purpose of art, to show us something not just about society, not just to provide beauty but to help us learn who we are. Our reaction to a juxtaposition of shapes arranged in 3d space can call forth something from inside us that we did not know was there, spark a thought, create inspiration, but in the end it does all of this within our own being. It does not matter if the artist intended the thought to be placed there.

Looking at art and understanding what it means to us is a path to better knowing ourselves. Take some time this weekend and visit a museum, look at art and think about what it says to you rather then what you are told it should mean. Find yourself in the interpretation.


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