In German there is the word Spaß, and of course the word Freude. In everyday talk you will hear the word Spaß (fun) a lot, whereas Freude (being glad) prevails, say in German literature. FREUDE is in the title of the European anthem (composed as well as authored by a German, well deserved in way, in another way a sign of generosity from the other European nations).
So, what experience would you like to offer the public – Spaß or Freude? Should your art be part of everyday fun, or rather like the European hymn and German literature?
It is not always easy to distinguish, though, between Spaß and Freude, as well as between art and non-art.
“Spaß“ may be shallow, but shallow is not necessarily bad. Everyday culture is more common than “high culture” and we need both. A problem arises, however, if shallow is sold and used as replacement for the other.
„The real thing„
It is a huge impudence (Unverschämtheit) when the probably leading soft-drink company of the world, Coca-Cola, through decades have used “the real thing” as their slogan. They may have a point distinguishing themselves from other soft-drinks (copies), but otherwise the headline is certainly misleading. Through the images and “stories” of their advertisements they love to connect their product to spontaneous, down to earth, real-life experience – which are good things, but of course the drink has nothing to do with that. A couple of decades ago a Norwegian soft-drink producer tried a “counter-attack” (with moderate success) advertising ours is probably the only drink in the world which only takes care of your thirst.
In contrast, the painting by Renoir is endlessly richer in life (even if technically slightly less realistic than the Coca-Cola ad).
Artwork of the fortnight
You would not expect the Finanzamt (Tax office) to have a sense of humour, would you? It is a bit mysterious to me how the sculpture to the left came to be positioned at the main entrance of the Finanzamt of north-eastern Berlin.
Look at the precious “flower” (jewel?) up middle! Is it by accident that the “arms” holding the flower have “claws”? Or is the idea that the flower represents society (or life) and the construction holding it protects it? Some taxation is necessary in order to maintain civilization!
- See also Kitsch, Art and Christmas
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