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The Impact of Time

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Considering that the majority of fundamental ideas which uphold our modern society are grounded in beliefs from centuries ago, does true knowledge require to stand the test of time? If a form of knowledge is new, does it have less validity than and older form? When discussing the use of modern technology, individuals who are not used to them tend to decline their validity based on the fact that it has not stood the test of time. In a similar manner one could counter argue the claim that online news are less valid than news through art simply because the internet has not been around for as long as art. To counter this, I looked at articles which considered the perspective that art does not influence real life and is not necessary.

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An article by David Sable looked at the degree of reliability on art as a means of communication. Sable spoke of European monarchs who had themselves painted to look like celebrities or even gods. In such a manner, these pieces of art do not communicate real life; researchers who look at ancient art today to find out more about the past have to consider that certain pieces may alter or exaggerate the truth. While I have heard individuals in my life arguing that the sole reason for this alteration was the fact that art, in those days, consisted merely of drawing, sketching ad sculpting. While that is true to a certain extent, I consider this to allow the artist to show the viewer their own perception of real life. I’ve linked this into my personal beliefs of the link between art and news into my childhood. As a child, I always looked up to celebrities and would buy any magazine which featured a celebrity which I followed. Each photograph seemed to effortlessly perfect and it dulled the way that I saw my own photographs, but soon I realised that each photo had gone through multiple artistic stages. Models would be dolled up by makeup artists and stylists, photographed by professionals and then photoshopped to look flawless. I had previously seen photography as reflecting purely real life, rather than being an artistic process of alteration and exaggeration. Having considered this I saw that standing the test of time could have different effects often depending on the difference between when the art was published and today.

Artworks that are popularised today are often older artworks. Iconic pieces by Leonardo Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Monet and countless others were created during times when visual arts were still developing. Prior to this information had been communicated through generations through oral sources – stories, songs and poems such as The Iliad, a book long poem by Homer. As such one can argue that throughout the centuries, the arts have guarded our past as well as told our future; being a capsule of information, artistic works capture moments and experiences of the past. What links artworks to the future, is the idea that artists are ahead of their time. In cases like Van Gogh’s, we can see that artists often gain fame after their death, indicating that the world was simply not ready for the artworks at their time of creation. In a similar way, contemporary artists like Damien Hirst – who receives a love it or hate it response from his viewers – can be considered ahead of his time. This furthermore raises questions as to whether being ahead of one’s time is simply an excuse for not gaining fame. While this has come into discussion across various platforms, there is no way of proving or disproving this theory completely. A piece by Damien Hirst titled “The Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” looks at the process of coming to terms with mortality.

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This was created in 1991 and has since received a lot of critique, such as that the pieces “have made art meaningless” . In an interpretation by Khan Academy, an individual said that he could interpret the piece, however he felt that it would be made up. It was also considered, however, that “a work of art is completed by the viewer” as Duchamp said. Furthermore, Beth Harris of Khan Academy revealed that, art within the 20th and 21st century is created to be open for interpretation allowing the viewer to project today’s world into the artwork. In today’s news, one of the concerning topics is migration. However, news reporters on the internet and on the television are failing to raise awareness for more than a month whereas artists are making artworks which are creating a lasting effect, communicating the artist’s intent for a long period of time. This is again where the idea of time comes into play. The artists’ ideas have been more thoroughly developed and communicate physically rather than through words on a page. Through this concept, I want to explore ways in which art has been used to communicate events.

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