Art, craft and debate

Reflections on an exhibition:

The distinction between art and craft is a funny one and open to debate: Are they really different or should they be different? Surely you can have both in the same piece, and you can have one without the other. Craft should be well made, art can be many things.

So when art galleries exhibit craft you risk being severely confused or even disappointed. The objects they put on display are art only Рthey can often not be used for anything, they are rough, ugly and generally speaking useless. The idea is that these objects  are not for practical use in everyday life, they have been elevated to a philosophical level. They are part of a debate about ideas, society, people, body and mind, politics, beauty Рwhatever the artist puts into them.

So objects called – pretentiously – art is intended as part of a debate, to form opinion and to make you think or to make a statement.

These artifacts are made through an artistic process, but the end-result is not intended for practical purposes. Form, colour, design, artistic value are not important for they are meant to convey an opinion about an important theme in society. They are not written in words, the meaning comes to you through an object conveying a message.

Everything is possible, for there are no limits or boundaries: Big art, small art, all kinds of cultural aspects, self made and factory made, pop and rock, modern and not so modern.

A lot of -isms and theories are out there, and it all is veering towards a theoretical and esoteric exercise. Very intellectual but hard to see, or too new to understand. The limits of art have always been criticized.

Has this art lost its meaning or is it a challenge to us all: You must see the new ways, you must accept new artistic methods.

Art must have an audience – if nobody sees it there is no art. Artistic limits have always been pushed forward. So let us be calm, reflect, and let the strong ideas come through. Eventually they will.

Galleri F15, Moss, Norway

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