Williamsburg Art & Historical Center

135 Broadway

Brooklyn, New York 11211

(718) 486-7372 or (718) 486-6012

WWW.WAHcenter.ORG

 

 

THE WILLIAMSBURG SYMPOSIUM

Sunday October 18th, 1998 3 P.M. to 6 P.M. Reconvenes 7:30 P.M.

 

 

On October 18th 1998 there will be a gathering of minds to discuss the issues of new art at the cusp of the millennium. Why this gathering? Because behind this process of new art being generated there is hidden world of thought...the thought of those who create the art and the thought of some of those who observe it. Certainly much of the art is being created without any conscious or at least significant philosophy on the part of the artist, and most of the museums are doing their jobs of acquiring and preserving what commercial galleries have been successful in selling whether it has had or will have any significant impact on the direction of thought and culture.

Although it is true that established museums or institutions of culture eventually come to recognize what had been important in their midst, there is an inertia in these institutions that makes for recognition for important ideas only long after they have created their revolution in society. On the other hand, some truly gifted and formidable artists, critics, curators and connoisseurs are engaging the new and not yet congealed issues of perception, thought, science and the arts at the latter part of the 20th century and have stepped into the arena of our emerging art world and are staking their claim to the territory. These are the people who will fill the panels.

One of the first issues is whether the art of today is distinctly different enough to be identified and classified as "art of the late 1990's." What is this stamp of style that identifies it as the art of "now." How is this art different from the "post modernist?" Much of art criticism seems to be by questionable "writers" who merely opine that that something is "good" or "bad" without objective basis. Is there an objective basis to criticism? Science, technology and mass communication have become the necessary substratum of modern life. It seems to shape everything including art. What precisely has been the effect on art? Does new art prefigure new science, or does new science prefigure new art. Are they just two heads of the same animal occurring at the same instant, or does each occur without having been effected by the other? In the panels we will look at where we are in the "now." This is where the sharp edge of the absolute present is cutting into the unknown territory of the next millennium creating the shock wave which will transform mind and man.

By observing how science and communication and art have been transforming throughout the 20th Century we may even humbly make a few predictions about the art of the next century and beyond. On the other hand, the future may have a few unexpected twists, for, if creativity which is thought to be important to art is truly "creative," perhaps it should not be predictable...And let us not forget the reactionaries to the art of "the now": Those are the retrogarde artists who look to the past for inspiration. Is it really art? We will give them their say too! We will have important and innovative personalities from all disciplines: theater, music, fine art, computer art, philosophers, writers, inventors. This is the town meeting in the emerging art capital of the world. The WAH Center, for this moment in time, will be the ancient Athenaeum where the Socratic dialogue is alive and well. This is an experience not to be missed. We will keep the door open for you!

text courtesy of WAH Center

published 7/29/98


This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 11/28/11

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