My in-laws were in town this weekend and due to my persistent study schedule I wasn’t able to make it into NYC with them for the day to tour the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) and the Natural History Museum. But the first time I did make it to the MoMA was over 5 years ago while I was living in DC and took a weekend trip to New York. And when I made it to the fifth floor and saw Matisse and Picasso in person, I cried! It was kind of an out-of-body experience, like I didn’t know I was crying until I was crying, but it was overwhelming to see those works of art in person when I’d only ever seen illustrations in a book as a kid. My in-laws didn’t have a reaction anything like mine, but that just goes to show you the effervescent quality of art.
Today as I was reading this book for one of my Anthro classes on Cinema and Modernity, I stumbled upon a quote about art from Victor Shklovsky’s mainfesto “Art as Technique.” I just thought I’d share it to make us all think a little harder about what art is all about:
“Habitualization devours works, clothes, furniture, one’s wife, and the fear of war…And art exists that one may recover the sensation of life; it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone stony. The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known.”
And that, for some reason, really spoke to me.