Monday, January 30, 2006

Materialism

"It's not that we are too materialistic, it's that we aren't materialistic enough."

This is a quote I heard sitting next to Paulus Berenson at an environmental conference several year ago. It stuck with me because it sounds true. I hear an awful lot about our (western) materialism, how we are so consumer driven, seeking more and more to fill some sort of spiritual void. I question the overly materialistic popular wisdom. What if we examine the possiblity that we aren't materialistic enough? That the material world is precious, neccesary and limited? Limits are so annoying, or are they? Constraints, in my mind, are an exciting realm within which to operate. The artist is keenly aware of the constraints of a medium, or an idea. I argue the artist must clarify her work so that it can be understood by more than the initiated ("the art smart"). This artist, for one, is dedicated to the visual, primarily. I also believe all art functions, so that use, in fact, bestows daily contact with a work of art. Influence is the hallmark of achievement in the long run for an artists life. That influence is felt through the actuality of the work. Its material impact. Its being. Words, music, dance, all ephemeral. Sculpture, painting, pottery, textiles, wood, glass, jewlery - material. The best of both enhance our lives, open us up to the quiet voices within, which lead to greater sensitivity.

1 comment:

Paul Greene said...

Mary Anne,

You hit the big league. Seth's got you linked on his front page. Whoa.

Paul