Re-presenting Art 2

My fascination over ‘What is Art’

Before I disillusion my readers and self into thinking I may begin to answer the question ‘What is Art’, I am going to state this – It is better, or perhaps the best that I can do, to simply ask more.


Under today’s subjective standards, it is hard to argue ready-made and other pieces I would call ‘camouflaged into life’ not to be art. I would easily dismiss a cupboard, a blockbuster film, or bathrobe, because it does not fit into my categories of high art paintings, sculpture or architecture. Yet, we accept far more than this as art and exhibit it as such – for example Installation art, Earth/Land Art, Kinetic forms and Performance art.


I will clarify this concept through the case of architecture. We would accept that architecture is an art and this can be validated because it is included in the History of Art. But when is a building architecture? When are functional student halls such as Hotham Court – a block of brick flats – architecture and thus art? All the students, even the overly conceptual thinkers amongst the fine artists, would not think to consider this building Art.


How can we measure art? If we cannot define it, we must at least try to ascertain the crucial point on our continuum of the exclusive traditions of art, to everything existing, physical and visual being art. Through examples that are and are not inarguably Art, a judgement will surely be made. 


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