I managed to find time to sit through a movie after long. And I chose Robert Redford’s ‘A river runs through it’ more out of compulsion actually but oh well it inspired this post.

The movie was nominated for 3 Oscars and picked one up, for its excellent excellent cinematography. But I did not quite like the movie. Primarily because it relied too heavily on the narrator’s recounting, accompanied by still photographs to construct the story of a family of fly-fishers. I am unfortunately prejudiced. A movie should flow and move and unravel through the emotions, the words, the language of the actors.

But one line stuck on in my head.

When Craig Sheffer remarked without missing a beat about the perfection of form and of style of Brad Pitt’s fly-fishing endeavours. He affected an affectionate definition. Art.

And really what is art? Grace in language, refinement in advance, poise in stance, colour in view. And sometimes you can find it all around you if you just look a little harder.

When she eats with a rare gratification every meal, and every morsel on the plate.

When he describes with a singular passion and a personal erudition.

When she writes in her calligraphy and tilts back a tad to appreciate.

When he narrates with energy and seamless analogies.

When she sweeps vivid strokes and bright hues and tells not one.

‘Art stares back at itself in the mirror, but truly shines in other’s eyes’*

Yes, art craves the attention of an audience to truly thrive and flourish. To become a means of windfall and thus, complete satisfaction. So we search for art in galleries and auditoriums and museums. When sometimes it stares us in the face. If we only shed our insecurities of a collective approval, the next time he pulls on the cigarette with a pleasant effort to expel it in a streamlined form, maybe art will assume newer definitions.

And I leave you with this:

’This idea of a talking stick (Pinocchio) becoming a boy, it’s like a metaphor for art, and it’s the ultimate alchemical transformation.’


*a mischievous manipulation of one of Tarun Tejpal’s many aphorisms. Apologies.


Salil said...

Well, for starters,

'Art craves for the attention of an audience to truly thrive and flourish'

I can totally vouch for that. This is synonymous with the feeling that I get deep down when I feel I have done that extra something special. And would love that pat on the back. It maybe some usual run of the mill stuff, however, to me it will always be....

Which brings us to the question at hand, the definition of art? Who gets to judge it?

I agree with you on the fact that insecurity about collective approval (and disapproval) of art, constrains the definition of art. I guess it’s a personal choice and will be and we need to breakaway from the stereotypes. What’s beautiful and appealing to you in anyway, might be considered as a form of art. Art should not be subject to purview of the society and an elite few. Remember the M.F.Hussain episode where he was prosecuted?

Salil said...

and pssst.... smoking is a art.. have you seen all the smoke rings that i am making these days :)

surajsharma said...

Tried watching that movie once, couldn't sit halway through it.

I guess to me, art is something that disentangles, or hints towards the possible existance of any such larger-than-life experience. So I fail to understand where exactly this notion of collective approval came from. And I think the Pinocchio analogy completely supports my view, but you never asked for it, didcha'? ;)

surajsharma said...

oh and you can never trust those ID3 tags anymore these days, they're rarely ever comprehensive or complete, consider this, for example.

Another one of those things I just can't be wrong about, you know ;)

MISSquoted** said...

salil: privilege love privilege of the rich and the bored...
to speculate about art, love, life and its myriad dialectic forms.

and the smoke rings do appease ;-)

suraj: i defined art as it can and does appeal to me. i find it in monet and i find it in my roommate's work.
but you, as i, are a thrashing fish on land. and therefore, often collective approval becomes most important.

Anil P said...

I'm not so sure Art is everything as in anything that you appreciate is art.

If it can move you sufficiently enough to want to bring you back, knowing full well that whatever emotions it evokes in you may not be the same ones the second time around, and you discover another facet to it that you hadn't the first time around.

Then maybe it is close to being Art.

Joylita said...

And I *love* (absolutely love) Alcehmy of Desire. I savouring it such that I don't run out of breath with it...

Feels like you-know-what :)

MISSquoted** said...

anil: Oh yes. Art is but what provokes. But ensconced in a tight layer of grace and refinement dont you think?? And sometimes even novel discoveries that make us see in a new light?

joy: I am currently suffering from an unhealthy obsession for 'alchemy of desire'.
and i like it! ;-)