I had the pleasure of touring Gary Kohime's installation "The Theory of Everything" last evening. When I got there Gary happened to be around and offered to give me a guided tour, which I willingly accepted. I loved Gary's work and his explanation of the images, symbolism and inspiration was compelling. Go visit for yourself while the installation is still up. Gary will be taking it down soon as the tier on the space is costly. Drop him a few lindens if you are so inclined.
Here are some words from a notecard Gary shared about his work.
My build ....... addresses the power of speaking. Steven Hawking does not have the last word. Truth, is not what we are told, but whats in each one of our individual hearts. No one.. can truly say what is, or even why it is.After I left the installation I got to thinking generally about the interaction between artist and audience. I have not studied art so this is probably a very elementary thought and I am not likely to express it as well as people who are actually educated on the subject so bear with me for a second.
The full blue part of my creation is the Nothing, the one with the apple in it. The other side, or main entrance to my build is Everything. I re-named the part that's up at 1000 meters. Its called the Beginning and End. At ground level its called the Future, and was a dream I had when I was very young; I've never forgotten it. I have dreams that come true, this is why dreams stick with me, I guess? lol :) I also set the sim to land at what I consider the start point, which is Everything.
You could say the eclipse of Venus, is an eclipse of love, since Venus is a symbol of love. Love comes and it goes, parts of it can be hurtful/dark, others its light and bright. Water is emotion, the flags are the basis of life as we can see it; Red, Green & Blue. Flowers to me.. is Truth, as the only real truth is beauty and thats whats in all our hearts. :)
Here is my question. Is it important for an audience to know the symbolism and meaning behind an artists work? Is it critical that we experience the work the way an artist intends us to see it? Or is it perfectly ok for the audience to be blissfully ignorant of back story, symbolism or the artists intent and instead draw their own conclusions as to the meaning of the work. Does art even necessarily have meaning?
The truth be told, I tend to wander around art exhibits alone. I like to move at my own pace and be left alone to think and feel whatever it is the work evokes. I admire the work, fully immerse in the installation and feel the art viscerally. Because this is my preferred way of experiencing things, especially in Second Life, and because I do not have a strong background in art I am sure I miss the artist's intent more often than not.
Virtual art is one of the great joys of my Second Life. I find I can completely enjoy art without fully understanding an artist's intent. Having said that, I do think understanding the broader meaning and context certainly enhances my enjoyment and appreciation of the work.
Hmmm....I guess there really is no question in there. But I do wonder what others think about this subject.