by Rebecca O'Reilly
There isn’t always a definitive right or wrong answer when it comes to perceptions and when they are applied in the use of finding an exact answer to a question, this is where debates and arguments arise. We use our senses most readily to provide us with our perceptions and they are the means to which we come to a hypothesis.
To be reliant solely on our senses as a base for fact on what is to be perceived in the world around us is a fallacy specifically in regards to art. Our senses are flawed and susceptible to trickery and illusion, both on a conscious and preconscious level. Sensory perception can be deceived when we don’t interpret the information presented to us in a logical and analytical manner.
This lack of a defined criteria is stereotypical of art and originates from ambiguity when attempting to decipher its value in a measured way when considering a specific importance or worth.
However the aesthetic worth is just as debatable due to purpose, perception and aesthetic all having an effect on the way the value is judged. It makes it a difficult task when there are so many variables to consider, variables that are in themselves constantly fluctuating in their own value through time.
Despite having this obvious ambiguous nature to the way we value certain pieces of art, it is still a commercial business and the people involved within it still have to make money in order for it to exist. As crude as that sounds, it is the absolute truth. Art professionals are highly educated in this for a reason. Therefore there needs to be a measurement of value that is not ambiguous. So how can this possibly judged?
The value of specific types of art has fluctuated throughout eons of change in perception and time; time is ultimately the final control, the unchanging and therefore reliable variable, as it is the only thing that cannot be affected. Hence we can always find a cause for an effect, like a chain reaction; until ultimately when the cause leads to and finishes with time. It’s a linear concept that only moves in one direction; unchanging and unaffected.
Is there in fact a constant that has not changed when we consider art and aesthetics? Art has always been an automatic, updating, ceaseless process, it’s why we recognise art movements for what they are. Historically pivotal moments in the direction art takes, representing a moment in time and the ideals of the people implementing and leading these changes: the innovators, the renegades, idealists and the rebels. However what if we consider that there is only one constant? That art is a linear, unchanging concept and it is aesthetics that have changed through our growing understanding of perception.
Consider that there is the control- art- and an effect-aesthetics-and the effect is then controlled by perceptions. When these two cross paths in time, as perception causes the value of aesthetics to alter, that is when the change happens. I would argue that is when art movements occur. The response that the collective mind can have on a specific period in time can have a considerable influence on the value of art. It effects the function as the artist creating it is experiencing their current climate; political; environmental; cultural and social. All these have an impact on an artist and their work.
Or is aesthetics the control and art the cause of the change?
Therefore as the purpose changes, the aesthetics of a piece could stay the same but the art piece itself -meaning, integrity- could entirely differ. It all depends on the artist, as a spate being making their own choice on the impact they wish to achieve and why they have presented it.
Would this affect the price tag?
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