Sunday, May 16, 2010

it's all subjective


i was a senior in high school the first time i saw this piece by boccioni.
to me it was the representation of tenacity - the total unwillingness to be anchored down. it was the human spirit thrusting forth, no matter the obstacles.
my teacher, however, curtly informed me that i was wrong. that it was a representation of how traditional thought keeps us from moving forward and the artist's struggle with a society tied to the past.

in my opinion you are never "wrong" when it comes to your personal impression. no matter what the teachers, experts, or even the artists say, whatever message you take from an artwork is completely valid.
because it's all subjective, isn't it?

i think about boccioni's sculpture a lot because it's symbolism applies to my everyday life.
whether i'm running to get back into shape, or working on my novel, i often have to dig a little to find the endurance needed to complete that mile or chapter.

now, i could look at it the way my art history teacher did.

i could struggle with every word i type, hoping to string enough of them together to make a coherent sentence. i could check my word count every minute hoping to see progress, but realize i'm basically at a stand still.
when running i could focus on how heavy my legs are, as if i have lead weights around my ankles. how every step depletes my energy reserves and soon i'll be running on fumes.

but i don't view it her way, just as i didn't in high school.

sure, i might find myself struggling to finish a chapter, but every page that gets written is a page closer to completing my first draft. and if it takes me two days to write two hundred words, so be it. but those two hundred words are two hundred more than i had previously.
and every mile i put in, no matter how sluggish i may feel, is another mile of strength training. and every day i can measure the proof in my improved stamina and determination.

personally, i prefer my method of thinking to hers.

8 comments:

Christine Fletcher said...

First of all, WOW, that sculpture is amazing.

Second, art IS subjective and your teacher totally didn't get it. The artist may have had one vision in mind when creating the piece, but once that piece is out in the world, everyone who views it brings their own interpretation. That's what makes art personally meaningful.

Your attitude rocks. After all, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right? :) (says the girl typing from her couch who hasn't been to the gym in months...)

mi said...

christine - to be honest my attitude hasn't always been this good when it comes to working out! and if my workout consisted of running at the beach, in deep sand, well my outlook would be just like my teacher's!

SkippyMom said...

Really your teacher and you said the same thing with added elements - but basically you both agreed the statue represent struggles.

But your teacher was a jerk - art is subjective and no one is EVER wrong giving an opinion about it. Everyone is going to see something different, there is no "right" and one answer.

Cool sculpture btw.

Janet Johnson said...

I agree! How can you be wrong in what a piece of art makes you feel?

And forward is forward no matter how slow. Go, you!

Dawn said...

Bravo! Personally, I like your way of thinking as well ;-)

mi said...

skippymom - how are you?!?
i sent you an email a few weeks back, did you get it?

janet -thanks for stopping by and commenting!

dawn - we seem to agree on a lot of things, haha!

Johnny Rojo said...

I like your view much better. I can't believe anybody would presume to tell anybody else how to interpret a piece of art, let alone a teacher.

The piece could be many things, including a study in form, a poltical statement (like Picasso's "Guernica") or many other things. But it remains something different to everyone who views it, and that's its beauty.

It reminds me of Duchamp's "Nude Descending a Staircase, a painting I love.

By the way, you've once again inspired me-- I started work last week on a book. I'll post about it soon.

Nishant said...

basically you both agreed the statue represent struggles.
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