2004-12-05

Art or not Art, that is the question! ;-)

Today’s lesson or our lesson today :-) started with Susi’s and Susie’s short story presentation. It was about “A Haunted House”, written by Virginia Woolf. A ghostly couple is looking for their treasure, their love. I agree with you, it is very romantic. Their biggest treasure is their love, how incredibly marvellous this must be! Where is my short story book? I think I have to read it!
I don’t know if the others also think so, but isn’t it shocking that many writers kill themselves? Richard Brautigan, for instance, Melanie and Barbara told us about him, died under strange circumstances, probably suicide, and also Virginia Woolf committed suicide by drowning in a river. How can this woman, on the one hand, write such a romantic story full of love, but, on the other hand, can’t get along with her own personality? This is very sad. But maybe that’s the reason why normal people aren’t famous writers; they are less crazy and too normal ... What do you think?

Afterwards we corrected the exercises about the usage of and differences between present perfect continuous and simple, and present perfect and past. Such exercises aren’t really difficult (You’ve got a hit ratio of 50 %! More than in a lottery!) but you have to apply the rules later, pay attention to your tense while writing something. English isn’t an amusement park, unfortunately.

But English lessons sometimes can become a real “art gallery”. Encouraged by an article in our Viewfinder book we had an exceptional discussion about art, its functions, its definition, kinds of art we like or dislike and so on. I liked it very much.
Art or not art, that is the question. Could it be art when a woman is sleeping in a bed in a museum? Some pupils have wished to have a bed for sleeping while they were visiting a historical museum of fossils :-) with their class, but have never thought of being a work of art then.
Our opinions differed. While some said that you don’t have to go to a museum in order to see somebody sleeping, above all because sleeping is a private matter, the others pointed out that putting something ordinary and private into the public provokes reactions and offers the visitors something to discuss. This relates to what Eva said:” It's art if it makes people stop and watch/look.” I think it is a good definition. People think about the idea behind it. What does the artist mean by it? Should the woman sleeping in the glass cube be a modern "Snow-White", waiting for her prince, like the young boy assumes in this article?
This article was published about nine years ago. Would you really think of provocation when you see someone sleeping in a museum today? You can watch "Big Brother" and see the people there not only while they are sleeping. Moreover, you see stars eating insects or having a bath in a basin full of cockroaches. Isn’t a sleeping woman in a museum normal compared to that?
These TV shows also make people stop (stop zapping) and watch. Consequently, can we say it is art?! What do you think?


Yours, Conny

1 Kommentar:

rip hat gesagt…

Thanks a lot for your detailed blog entry, Conny! I liked all of it, but the comparison you draw between "Tilda Swinton sleeping" and "Big Brother" is particularly clever. - So, the interesting question is: Why is Tilda Swinton sleeping in a glass cube more likely to be art than "Big Brother" participants having a shower, cuddling underneath their sheets or discussing politics?