Who decides what's art and what isn't?

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Is any of this art?




-- James Curran (jcurrhist@hotmail.com), January 03, 2002


The artist is s/he who decides what his/her production is not a band of critics. Fixed definitions do not work in matters of creativity.

-- Amadou Siendou Konate (siendouk@yahoo.com), May 06, 2002.

To the question as to who decides what art is or is not, answers should be geared towards a more flexible understanding of art. Art is not a fixed, specifically space-bound and color-bound concept. It is a boundary-transcending notion in the sense that what is viewed as art by a people A can be viewed otherwise by a people B and so on and so forth. In clearer terms, art only obeys a plural understanding. African art is not like European art and vice versa. It is that logic of differences that presides over the definition of art. Art is art so long as the producer says so and prompts argumentations that support compellingly his/her theses. NO ONE decides what art is and what is not. Everything is art. The only way to get out of the conceptual bog is to be open-minded and and more accommadative than we now are by simply letting people venture in their understanding something that a certain category of people in the academe hijacked, strait-jacketed and slotted in the specific geographic space. If the product of the imagination of a person is submitted to the scrutiny of one of the above-mentioned, they will simply outrule it for the mere reason that it does not originate from the mold art is supposed to be.

-- Siendou Ahmadou Konate (siendouk@fulbrightweb.org), August 12, 2003.

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