What is art… is it OK if I dont understand it?

I had this discussion about what I consider to be art with my friend and came up to this:

1. if it what makes me feel that the author is supreme to me – can draw, paint, sing, sculpture, photograph better than me. In order for me to feel moved by the piece I have to first admire its creator.

2. I have to understand the authors message, the creation of the work must make sense to me – in paintings the meaning sometimes can simply be also the beauty of the product itself. All I have to think is – “Oh, my God, its beautiful. I dont know what it is, but its amazing!”, same goes to music, I dont care about the lyrics if the music is good, gives me emotions, make me pause in awe.

What made me write this? A couple of experiences I had recently:

- I watched an addaptation of King Lear in the Czech National Theater (the No. 1 scene) and it sucked. I have no idea what I was watching, it was so arty that the plot got covered up by piles of “things” that made no sense. I saw a pool, cake, concentration camp uniform, joker, logo of batman, detergent, ukulele, dancing and singing, ketchup instead of blood, whipped cream in glasses, 4 naked guys, a bunch of Andy Warhols and a Pope lying on a pissed mattrace. I guess I was supposed to search for the meenings of the symbols but somehow it didnt make me care to try, some of the 700 people present left during the performance, rest stayed confused till the end.

- 100 days of freedom – a play that included 4 naked guys talking a lot about sex and shitting, what did I expect considering the original text, but watching them using chocolate pudding as shit-replacement while doing a poo-eating-naked-party, that was a slightly too much for me.

- I watched the film Holy Motors and well… felt like its wasted effort, excellent acting, yes, but for what reason? I would compare it to Sucker Punch – very different episodes full of all the potential that the actors (Holy Motors) and CGI (Sucker Punch) can offer, connected with a simple plot… at least in the case of Sucker Punch (which does feel like a set of great selection of music with awesome videoclips).

- Two exhibitions of modern art – one from some kids that travelled to Siberia to paint their feelings and one that included some modern pieces of young art.. of which most didnt talk to me anyhow, because I didnt feel they try to speak, they just mumbled in a foreign language, at best.

The strange thing is that all these have lots and lots of admirers, they were all recommended and talked about in the highlights fashion.

I always considered myself to be a kind of intellectual, but I am thinking – maybe art is for me the same kind of “race” as everything else I like to do – I want to be the best or admire the one who is undoubtelly better.

Maybe I am just a simpleton who wants for everything to make sense and admires only that what he consideres a beautiful creation (mine of someone’s other). This text is lousy, not much to admire, but it at least scratches the surface of the topic.

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