What little switch in our minds, gets flipped? When we become critics, does it remove the sense of pure joy of viewing art? At experiencing art? I know that when I am critiquing writing, I step back and disengage the part of my brain that is given to pleasure, laughter, and fun.
I am not alone; humans are like that. When we becomes critics, we become business people. We flip switches in our brains, becoming judgmental, analytical even... "Just the facts, ma'am..." We thrust ourselves toward a place of understanding. But this type of understanding lacks philosophical leanings.
I thought that the movie was good. The sense of story was excellent. It was all Hollywood, of course. But, I didn't pay to see a movie filmed by a group of locals from Mainstreet, Podunk, USA. Hollywood is over the top, big-budget, selling a vision of a book-- to people who don't read, along with the readers. The readers, the purists whose first view of the story was in their heads-- painted there by the words of the author. And...as often is the case for us readers, it is vastly different than the view Hollywood paints. Each are lovely, in their own place.
At work, the Hunger Games art-dissection popped up again. I had to chuckle when a friend,Carla, said, "It's art. Stop picking it apart." Which reminded me of one of the clearest lessons I was ever given about art.
I wasn't in school yet. In the bedroom I shared with seven siblings, there were two pieces of "art" hanging on the walls. One, an old print of a river scene. Nothing about it was odd--a canoe, water, reflections. Everything was in its place and as it should have been.
The other? Well now...that was a different story. There was a Pixie...I assumed it was a girl. In retrospect, perhaps it wasn't, but that was not my concern. What bothered me, ceaselessly, was that her green stockings turned into green shoes with curled toes. There was no defining line between the two. Were they leotards? Did she not have shoes on? How could the leotards have curled tips? Why doesn't she wear shoes? Why, if they are green socks, do they not go up to her skirt?
After relentlessly badgering my older sisters about it (I think since I was old enough to ask questions) , one day--and one question too many, one of them--a teenager then, said, "It's art. Just shut up and enjoy it."
Ha! There you have it. Art...for the sake of art.