The praxial view of music addresses far more than an aesthetic perspective of music, it is the understanding of music in the context of values and meaning embedded in the practice and function of music in particular cultures (Alperson, 1991 in Regelski, 2000).
On reading about the praxial music from an extract by Regelski ( 2000). It got me thinking about visual art as a praxis. This has no doubt been addressed academically, but these are my personal thoughts on the idea in relation to my own art practice.
Art in the western cannon carries with it ideals of aesthetics. My understanding is that the primary function of artwork was for its aesthetics. This contrasts to art of ancient civilizations such as Egyptian art, and to much African art. In the latter two examples what we today regard as works of high aesthetic value, were not created for this purpose. The artworks created by these cultures had specific cultural significance. One example that comes to mind is the fertility dolls created in Africa. And although one of those babies today would set you back a pretty penny, their aestheticism was not the primary focus of the making of these objects.
Art is tied up in value. Especially in this day and age of consumerism, the higher the selling price, the more valuable it must be, but what about the value of things of beauty made for purposes other than to be pretty. If there is a praxis attached to an artwork, does this attach a value to a work of art that is not quantifiable?
Is concept and research the artist’s attempt to make their art praxial?
Is it a desperate search for meaning to attach to something that would otherwise be superficially pleasing to the eye?
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