This appeared in LiveJournal, but I thought I would post it again here. My final exam is on Tuesday and I wonder how I procrastinated without the internet back when I was going to SAIT in 1995-97!
The trouble with living in the future is that one can't fully appreciate the past - we're too sophisticated, too informed and too accepting now. It's easy to shrug and say "This art is crap!" but a lot of modern art, at the time it was created, was amazingly new and different. We've had about a hundred years of psychoanalysis, for example, but a hundred years ago it was amazingly revolutionary. As artists broke away from conventional art styles (or, like Salvador Dali, used them to display his bizarre imagery), each step was shocking in ways an audience these days can't appreciate. Jackson Pollack, for example, was hailed for his displays of individuality in a time when Communism seemed a threat. I try to put myself in the place of a viewer from the past, but the excitement and wonder just isn't the same.
Just one more lecture class and then the final. Our essays are handed back on Thursday. We've steamrolled through so many "isms" - Orphism, Expressionism, Post-Impressionism, Symbolism, Surrealism - that I feel like I'm going to come down with some sort of "ism" myself!