What is the use of Art?

Why are there so many books, essays and blogs about aesthetic? It is a theme that interests minatory groups, therefore doesn’t interest most of the public because it is opposite to the knowledge that can be shared by everyone.

Nestor Gardía Canclini, sociologist, has discussed the role of artists in our society, and has described them as people that go against the system (or the so-called "public life") by doing activities that aren’t as well paid as others that our society seem to value way more (for example, he refers to painters who’d spend months in front of a painting that might not be sold; or writers who’d spend years writing a novel that will not be read by many).

Artists introduce and discuss topics that seem unimportant for a great part of society, mostly because their existence is limited to paychecks. And by doing so, artists oppose the concept of "public life" (at least, for those who believe that "public life" would mean the rationalization of capitalism) which is why the artist, the intellectual, has set up some kind of social drama, creating tension between the different languages, by showing us alternatives: there are other ways to live and think.

People viewing "Paris Street; Rainy Day, 1877" by Gustave Caillebotte

"The man without a past", an indispensable movie by Aki Kaurismaki, narrates the story of a common man who has no memory of his own life after being severely beaten by bullies, so he ends up in a place where nobody knows him. He gets help from a very simple family, learns a craft, meets a woman for whom he falls in love. But the true magic begins when accidentally he discovers his immeasurable passion for rock music.

To drive and live that frenzy, he becomes a type of representative for rock bands of the little town that gave him a home. A man without a past who lost everything, even his own name, dicovers music which generates such a level of vitality, that will turn intoa  motor for action, for his life transforms and finds a purpose, a meaning. His existence becomes an experience full of substance and sweetness. Music reinvents him, completes him, raises him, and transforms him into someone.

Art can give us the possibility of choosing - even in a society that is already so full of density and variety - something more strategic than using the remote control of the TV.
It’s through art and its aesthetic charm – creating it or appreciating it – that life – always limited and tasteless – becomes more intense and moving.  Because such passion - that doesnt even have a reason - gives us shivers and makes our eyesight blurry, it becomes a new direction for everything we thought we knew.

Camila Reveco



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