Home > Article > Nothing Always Happens > Cud Quote #2 – Robert Irwin

Have at it…

"The first thing you have to do is seperate art from all the myths that are wrapped around it. The most powerful myth is to mix up the object with the subject.

The subject of art is a non-thing. It’s talking about feelings. And these feelings have values for us; that is, they enhance, they enrich, they make our lives more interesting.

And art is really a continual investigation of our potential as human beings to incorporate these values into our lives."

Robert Irwin, from the film "The Beauty of Questions" 1996


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3 Responses

  1. Gilbert

    “Talking about art is like dancing to architecture” – David Byrne? But enticed, I prefer ideas with a better pedigree. Certainly, I don’t agree to limiting understanding of art to emotional response. Would revulsion then be an indicator of greatness? Rather – grant me asylum in art. The world is sloppy with “feelings” already. Effete.

  2. tobrienwriter

    if you look at Irwin’s production, I don’t think that is what he’s referring to. He’s no maudlin expressionist. But I like that he’s not so coy or pretentious as to say that art ought to be only generating lofty ideas, or something.
    What else is art supposed to do but generate a response – which at every level is in the end purely synaptic. Emotions and ideas and yes, feelings, are just the symptoms, call them what you will.
    I go to art to be vivified in some way; to have life seem more interesting. Don’t you?
    it seems to me that life actually should seem interesting, because it is really, and we’re in this constant process of losing that thread, and finding it, and losing it, and finding it…isn’t art, by definition, really that which helps us find it?

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