Friday, February 8, 2008

Trial by the audience

I watched Persepolis the other night.

But I don’t want to talk about that. Last night, there were a bunch of us, gathered in a café in Montreal, discussing about the movie. What was amazing, was the subjective point of view that everyone had about the movie. Some believed that the writer and director of the film, Marjane Satrapi, was not honest, and that she could have introduced our country better than what she did in the film (or the books, for that matter), that she had exaggerated many events and situations, that she could have been a better representative of our country. Some thought that there was some kind of controversy going on behind the curtains (Iranian’s favorite theory) in making such a movie in such political situation. And some were saying that this was merely an autobiography, and she had every right to tell her memoirs and her experiences, which accidentally took place in the most chaotic and most eventful era of Iran.

What makes my mind busy since last night is if art is really objective or subjective? If one is really interested in watching the world from the other’s point of view, is one really allowed to have their own interpretation about it and then judge the artist/ writer/ painter/ composer/ director, based upon that?

Now the first part of the problem is interpreting the art. I know that art could be subjective. Any eye can have their own specific point of view, as the eyes are windows to the souls and not all the souls are the same. I may not be talking scientifically, as one can argue that the eyes record the scene and take it to the brain, what does soul have anything to do with it? Right, but I still think that the brains could act different in analyzing the recordings, based on the past experiences, which are usually used as the basis to interpret what one sees. So it seems natural that my perception could be different than somebody else’s.

Even if we insist on having our own perceptions, is it fair to generalize our insights, and arrange a trial for the artist, questioning his/her talent and investigating his/her intention from creating that specific piece of art? Now, I’m not really an artist, but is there an intention or a purpose behind every painting/ song/ story/ movie? Isn't there anything created just for the sake of art? Just because the artist had something, some inspiration inside that should be born in shape of a creation? Is there anyway that we would take the judging eye-glasses off, and just enjoy the art?

…and is it only us, or is it a common problem? And more basically, is that any problem at all?

1 comment:

Tameshk said...

I was just putting my recent post up and it is about Persepolis!? Of course I have a different view about the movie. But your question about Art and artists right in general is an old question. But at the same time it is a Huge question. At any rate it is near 6 am here and I am very sleepy. I hope to continue a conversation on this subject later on.