Art is a relation between an idealistic perfect world and the reality; it is an appeal to find beauty in common things; it is hyperbolized perception of the environment. According to Dewey, all types of fine art appeared out of common social life, religious ceremonies or collective life and first served for everyday purposes. Certainly, “art was not just literal copying of objects but reflecting the emotions and ideas that are associated with the chief institutions of social life” (Dewey 3). So, the main point of art for the author is to search for and notice details in the usual life and turn them into emotional items. Those items, after all, will be held in museums and galleries which are storages for valuable items and represent a border between meaningful pieces of art and community. Unfortunately, they also correspond to historical aims of saving memories about capitalism and militarism, thus mixing fine arts with more ugly or commercial things.
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“The Decay of Lying” by Oscar Wilde
According to Vivian from “The Decay of Lying” by Oscar Wilde, nature imitates art. As a proof, she describes London fogs, the effect of which had been created by poets and writers and only then imitated by nature. The colorful landscapes were just the reflection of the brilliant school of art, nothing but an imitation of the perfect art world. Vivian is truly convinced that even sunsets became dull because of a worse imitation of painters by nature. She underlines that nature is our creature and once a person can see something it is born to exist. Returning to the example of fogs, people see them not because of their existence but because poets created their image and showed the romantic colors of fogs which nature started to recreate (Wilde 184).
Speaking about life imitating art, one can see the influence of drama on people. Since people read or watch tragic melodramatic stories about perfect and never-ending love, their lives start to rewrite those stories and make them a reality. Thus, life changes simple comfortable routine to a dramatic ocean of uncontrolled emotions and desires. Life imitates dramas since people often act, whether on purpose or not, as the characters of art works they have read or viewed.
“Frivolity and Unction” by Dave Hickey
In his article “Frivolity and Unction”, Dave Hickey says that art is a bad, silly and frivolous thing to do. The author assumes that modern art is too commercial and mercenary. Politics use it in order to get profits from useless schools of arts, public houses of works of art, etc. However, in order to make something better, one has to humiliate it sometimes. It means that in a case of accepting art as bad, silly and frivolous, one can separate commercial artists from pure artists. It may give an impulse for searching superpowers inside art. Fear of failure stimulates great possibilities and may be a key to perfection, one of the main features of true art.
According to Hickey, acknowledging the fact of silly art will provoke taking the responsibility by exact patrons, charity organizations, and all people involved in the art industry. Lastly, the author’s thought is influenced by personal interest: “if art were considered bad, silly, frivolous thing to do, I could practice art criticism in the street level negotiation of value” (Hickey 5).
SCUM Manifesto by Valerie Solanas
In her work, Valerie Solanas called publishers and gays men's auxiliary of SCUM, an organization that aims to destroy men. She considers them to be the creatures which are promoting the ideas that will help to achieve SCUM its goal to de-male men; thus, those groups of men could stay alive. As for all other men, she would kill them and make them disappear from the Earth.
Despite the cruelty, there are some good points in this Manifesto. They concern mostly women, but nevertheless, it does not make their importance less significant.
“A woman not only takes her identity and individuality for granted, but knows instinctively that the only wrong is to hurt others, and that the meaning of life is love”(Solanas 15). It is difficult to argue with this statement and it is obvious that the main task of a woman is to give life, which is hard and painful labor. Thus, the instinct of every woman is to create and not destroy.