Should Art Really Be For Its Own Sake?

Gotta love the Guardian.

You often hear it said that “museums of art are our new churches”: in other words, in a secularising world, art has replaced religion as a touchstone of our reverence and devotion. It’s an intriguing idea, part of the broader ambition that culture should replace scripture, but in practice art museums often abdicate much of their potential to function as new churches (places of consolation, meaning, sanctuary, redemption) through the way they handle the collections entrusted to them. While exposing us to objects of genuine importance, they nevertheless seem unable to frame them in a way that links them powerfully to our inner needs. Read more…

Yesterday was a double barreled day of theatre – The Golden Dragon at Tarragon, then Cruel and Tender at Canadian Stage.

I`m still thinking about Golden Dragon. I loved it. I love when a play raises questions and makes me think.  From Mooney on Theatre“You will never forget that you’re watching a play. If the cross-gender, cross-age and cross-ethnicity (is that a term?) characters doesn’t pull you out of the experience enough, then the spoken stage directions and occasional ‘nudge-nudge-wink-wink’ type of action to the audience will.”

It’s true. It’s thought-provoking and at the same time, the speed at which you accept all of the above and begin to embrace it is uncanny. I was lucky enough to go for dinner after with a group of theatre friends – I love that. I love that when we love a play we flip it over and eviscerate it, tear it apart, try to find the meaning, try to go deeper:  “did he purposely do that?” “what if that wasn’t intentional?”  “That was a really important line – was it deliberately treated as a throwaway?” Anyone listening would think we hated it, save the occasional, “I LOVED IT!” that punctuates the conversation. That is how we show our love.

Cruel and Tender has its roots in Sophocles The Trachiniae and so we have a Greek Tragedy modernized. And modernized really well – it`s a dense piece, it`s heavy, it`s worth it. Classical theatre  manages to resonate to a modern audience – the themes, the message, the questions it raises. A tiring night in a good cathartic kind of way. And Daniel Kash in his final scene has him chewing up the scenery and spitting it back in your face. Wonderful stuff.

Again – these aren’t reviews. They’re what I think about what I did yesterday. I love that I had a two play day yesterday.

Last week I posted a theory about the ability to do a twelve-hour art marathon in this city and cover all genres. I’m doing it next month. Stay tuned for details – I got it all planned out in my head.  AND I’m doing it on a budget.

One Comment to “Should Art Really Be For Its Own Sake?”

  1. Have you ever done the off bathurst marathon Sue? Tarragon, Factory and Passe Muraille all in one day with dinner in between with forty stranger theatre lovers?

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