|It's commonly said—often by artists themselves—that art today in the so-called post-postmodern age has lost its purpose, that it has nothing to say, that all it does is repeat itself ad infinitum and—at its most relevant—ironically comments on & holds a mirror to it's own vapidity, its uncreative repetition, its utter uselessness. And this is absolutely true inasmuch as art has forgotten its roots, its original purpose as a tool of shamanic, magickal, personal transformation. Art in its original manifestation had a utilitarian function every bit as important as weaponry, tool-making & medicine & to say its lost its purpose now would be as ludicrous as to claim we've lost our need for weapons, tools & medicine. |
Today there remains as vital a need for art as ever—not as a form of decoration nor even as an exercise in theoretical aesthetics—a pursuit that is self-admittedly bankrupt. It is not even as Deleuze says of philosophy—a kind of novel progressing chapter by chapter according to an ever-developing plot. All that is over and may have been "reasons" for art but never art itself.
There is, indeed, nothing new to say. But as human beings we will never put behind us our individual need for self-transformation and the rituals & symbols that guide us through & make transformation possible. That is the original function of art and that function has remained the same and is every bit as important today as it was 5000 years ago, as it will be a hundred, a thousand, however many years there are still human beings.
Art is not fame, fortune or even a place in the canon of art history; it is nothing more—or less—than a personal record of the magickal workings of transforming oneself and, by extension, the immediate world around oneself.