Friday, March 01, 2019

In the everyday, the artist is merely a being who feels a range of life's difficulties more acutely than the rest of us. There is no particular nobility in the difficulty; which is to say, the artist is not ennobled simply by doing the requisite suffering. Nor does the artist win our admiration by solving the problem. After all, we solve it matter-of-factly in our own lives every day. Rather, the artist contributes by articulating the suffering we all do, less intensely, less perspicuously, in our comings and goings, our doings and occasional undoings. The artist makes this suffering available to us in the work and we can then face our difficulties more precisely. Whether the artist is finally destroyed by the effort is of little importance to us on a purely technical or, let us say, aesthetic level. Morally, we may care or not care as our empathy permits, or as it demands. What matters is that the work be articulate.