‘There is no such thing as an original idea: only ideas with origins.’
Marcel Duchamp rather proved this point with his Fountain
, which was voted the most influential artwork of the 20th century by 500 selected British art world professionals in 2004. Why? Because this first example of conceptual art raised the suggestion that an idea is more important than an artistic process. What could we do to teach children to be conceptual in their thinking? Teach children to be skeptical (healthily so: inquisitive, Socratic) not cynical.
In a whistle-stop tour of some interesting pieces and philosophies including Cézanne
('We must not paint what we think we see, but what we see…’); performance artist Marina Abramović whose The Artist is Present
engaged over one and a half thousand sitters at MoMA; Bridget Riley
who took thirty years to find her 'voice’ in a moment of crisis; Will Gompertz reminded us that 'artists break rules’, 'artists don’t fail’ (hence, Eddison’s comment, 'I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’) and 'artists are enterprising’ (Shakespeare added somewhere between 1700
and 3000 words to the language, to communicate his drama). I’d probably encourage our children to consider two of these, though I might replace 'break rules’ with 'take risks’ …
Most inspirational of all was hearing about Theaster
Gates and how creativity could do so much as a force for social change. If you don’t know the story, his TED talk - here
- is well worth watching.
The takeaway quotation of the day for me is, 'integrity is impregnable’; an interesting one to contemplate on the day of a presidential inauguration.