Art is my thing

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Jun 02 2013

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Category: Europe, Italy

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The experience of art in all its manifestations (literature, music, visual arts) is occupying a privileged place in my mental and intellectual life. I could say: in my spiritual life, but I always hesitate using that word since it has these strong religious connotations I’d like to avoid.

With acknowledgement and approval I quote what German artist – and ex-catholic – Anselm Kiefer has said in this respect: “…. even people who seem not to be spiritual still long for something; I’m sure this is the reason we have art and poetry. I think without spirituality we cannot live, and in this respect the best religion is Hinduism, which teaches that each religion can contain some little truth. Art is an attempt to get to the very centre of truth. It never can, but it can get quite close. It is the dogmatism of the church, the idea that words can express a single truth over hundreds of years, that is complete nonsense. The world changes. Language changes, everything changes. Paintings certainly change.” (A life in art: Anselm Kiefer, The Guardian: 19 March 2011)

My preference for the arts emerges now and then in my photographs, and then it’s of course mostly related to the visual arts. I can have a special liking for a photo of a painting, of a sculpture, or of a building, just because of the impression it has made on me. As a photo it may not always be so interesting, suffering as it may from a similar shortcoming as that of a landscape photo attempting to depict a vast space all around. It can’t match the original, or it doesn’t add an extra perspective or value to it. When presenting an art photo on my blog I will normally choose one that includes something of its environment, no matter how little, placing the object in a context, through which the photo distinguishes itself from a reproduction.

As photo of the week I have chosen a work by Kiefer as it was exhibited in Venice in 2011 in an old, restored warehouse, Magazzino del Sale. The small exhibition, entitled “Salt of the Earth” after the central piece of the show, was especially designed for this space and the environment definitely contributed to its impact.

Photo of the week: Arche 2011, by Anselm Kiefer, which was part of his exhibition Salt of the Earth, in Magazzino del Sale, Fondazione Vedova, Venice, Italy, 2011

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