Re: RARA-AVIS: letting time sort it out

Date: 21 Jun 2006

Brad wrote:

"It's worth bearing in mind that pretty much everything we now think of as 'high art' - the plays of Shakespeare, the music of Mozart, the novels of Melville - is simply the popular culture of the distant past
(or rather that part of the popular culture which has withstood 'the test of time')."

That's true to a degree, for some periods, but far from all, particularly in the fine arts. Much of what is now considered fine art pissed off people at its introduction -- the impressionism that now breaks attendance records in museums, for instance, was rejected as scandalous at the time of its first showing, by both the high and the low classes. In fact, a pretty good argument could be made that most acclaimed 20th Century art alienated the public, from Dada to Damien Hirst. As the art industry grew, and as it became more and more a signifier of class, it became more important to limit the aura, and therefore the rarity and expense, of "real art," as opposed to the mechanically reproduced mass culture. Even if Pop Art used images of mass art, they were careful to present them and sell them as high art.

True, some popular culture later becomes high culture, but it requires time (can no longer hae common currency) and the backing of authorities to make the leap.

Not sure how this fits into print. Maybe through the pursuit of first editions and/or the cultivation and display of liking the cutting edge, material that pushes the envelope? I'm know I'm guilty of the latter, at least.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 21 Jun 2006 EDT