Art? A definition?

Still harping on about the reactionary Art site I found yesterday! This person's definition of Art is so narrow. There is no mention of Dance, Film/Video, Performance, Theatre, and a minor reference to Music, but certainly NOT popular music, only the classical variety.

In a way though I kind of applaud them, they seem to have a very well defined notion of what Art is. My ideas vague as they are, are partially based on John Berger's ideas. He has in his book, "The Sense of Sight" a chapter with a rather succinct definition of Art that I use in my lectures at VU (page 6 of my copy ISBN 0-679-73722-7) . Roughly speaking he suggests 5 clues to an objects' classification as a work of art.

  1. Figurative Representation
  2. Subject Matter/Context
  3. Respect/Understanding of the Materials used
  4. Formal unity and Economy
  5. Awe, fascination or reverence for the object

So I quite like this list and it helps me classify things occaisonally. Still a lot of PoMo (Post Modern) Art is all just too cerebral for me, leaving out the "wonder" "awe" and imagination aspects of art that make it so enjoyable for the viewer.

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