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  • What is art for?

    「藝術是用來做什麼的?」

  • You might think there was a simple to answer to this.

    你或許覺得這問題很好解答。

  • After all, we know how to say what most things are for, like this or that.

    畢竟,我們知道大多數東西都是用來做什麼,像是這個,或這個。

  • And people flock to museums like never before, so they must have their motives.

    人們蜂擁至博物館的潮流比以往都更盛,他們一定有什麼動機吧。

  • But when it comes to art, people get strangely afraid to ask too directly what it might all be for - because well, everyone except you might know the answer already.

    但說到藝術,人們特別害怕太過直接地問 :「藝術是用來做什麼的?」因為 ... 嗯,除了你其他所有人應該都知道答案了。

  • It's perhaps too obvious.

    原因或許太顯而易見。

  • It's perhaps too complicated.

    或許太複雜。

  • The result is an awkward silence and a lot of confusion.

    結果是一陣尷尬的沉默和數不清的疑惑。

  • But maybe it shouldn't be that hard to say what art is for.

    但或許這不應該是一個那麼難回答的問題。

  • Maybe we can have a go at ascribing certain rather clear purposes to art.

    或許我們可以試著歸咎出藝術幾種特定、明顯的用意。

  • Here's five things that art might be able to do for us.

    以下是五種藝術對我們的可能用途。

  • 1. Art keep us hopeful.

    1. 藝術讓我們永保希望。

  • It's an obvious but striking fact that the most popular works of art in the world show pretty things: happy people, flowers in spring, blue skies.

    明顯但卻驚人的事實是,世界上大多數流行的藝術作品都展現出美麗的事物 : 快樂的人們、春日花朵、藍天。

  • This is the top selling postcard in the world from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

    這是世界上最暢銷的明信片,來自紐約大都會藝術博物館。

  • This enthusiasm for prettiness worries serious types a lot.

    人們對於美的熱情使嚴肅份子憂心忡忡。

  • They wonder: have people forgotten what life is really like?

    他們納悶 : 大家是都忘了人生的真實面了嗎?

  • But that seems a misplaced worry. We need pretty things close to us not because we're in danger of forgetting the bad stuff, but because terrible problems weigh so heavily on us, that we're in danger of slipping into despair and depression.

    但這擔憂看來是錯誤的。我們之所以需要美麗的事物在身邊,並不是因為我們有可能忘記不好的事情,而是因為不好的事情重重壓在我們肩上,我們有可能一不小心跌入絕望谷底。

  • That's why prettiness matters. It's an emblem of hope, which is an achievement.

    這就是為什麼「美」很重要。它象徵「希望」,這可是一大成就。

  • Prettiness, those flowers and blue skies and kids in meadows, is hope bottled and preserved, waiting for us when we need it.

    「美」,那些花朵和藍天、草地上的孩童,是被裝罐保存的「希望」,隨候在我們身旁,等著我們的需要。

  • 2. Art makes us less lonely.

    2. 藝術減少我們的孤寂。

  • The world often requires us to put on a cheerful facade.

    我們通常被要求笑臉迎人。

  • But beneath the surface, there's a lot of sadness and regret that we can't express from fear of seeming weird or a loser.

    但在笑臉背後,有許多我們不願示弱,或怕看起來很奇怪,而不敢表達的悲傷和懊悔。

  • One thing art can do is to reassure us of the normality of pain, it can be sad with and for us.

    藝術能做的,就是讓我們認知到傷痛為常態,藝術可以很悲傷,也得以展現出我們的悲傷。

  • Some of the world's greatest works of art have been loved for their capacity to make the pain that's inside all of us more publically visible and available.

    一些世界藝術巨作之所以為人喜愛,是因為他們展現出我們內心深處共有的傷痛,讓傷痛得以被觸及。

  • Like putting on a sad piece of music, sombre works of art don't have to depress us... rather they can give us the welcome feeling that pain is part of the human condition.

    就像聽一首悲傷的曲子,憂鬱的藝術作品不需要讓我們沮喪,他們反倒讓我們意識到 : 傷痛屬於人的一部分,這很正常。

  • Art fights the false optimism of commercial society.

    藝術打破了商業社會建構出來的樂觀假象。

  • It's there to remind us with dignity that every good life has extraordinary amounts of confusion, suffering, loneliness and distress within it.

    它以尊嚴之姿提醒我們 : 每一個好的人生必然伴隨許許多多疑惑、受難、孤寂和悲痛。

  • And therefore we should never aggravate sadness by feeling we must be freakish simply for experiencing quite a lot.

    所以我們絕不能因為體驗到許多的傷痛,就覺得自己很奇怪,還因而加深傷痛。

  • 3. Art rebalances us.

    3. 藝術使我們達到平衡。

  • All of us are a little unbalanced in some way.

    我們所有人或多或少都有點失衡。

  • We're too intellectual or too emotional, too masculine or too feminine, too calm or too excitable

    我們太過理性或太過感性,太過陽剛或太過陰柔,太過冷靜或太過容易興奮 ......。

  • The art we love is frequently something we're drawn to because it compensates us for what we lack: it counterbalances us.

    我們會愛上的藝術通常是吸引我們的,因為它彌補了我們缺少的,使我們達到平衡。

  • When we're moved by a work of art, it may be because it contains concentrated dose of qualities we need more of in our lives.

    當我們受某藝術作品所吸引,或許是因為它濃縮了我們生活所需的特質。

  • Perhaps it's full of the serenity we admire, but don't have enough of.

    或許它展示了我們嚮往卻無法達到的寧靜。

  • Perhaps it's got the tenderness we long for, but that our jobs and relationships are currently lacking.

    或許它飽有我們渴望的柔情,但我們現有的工作或是關係卻缺乏。

  • Or perhaps it's suffused with a pain and drama we've had to stifle but want to get in touch with.

    又或許它充滿了一種苦難或是戲劇事件,我們感到壓抑卻又忍不住靠近。

  • Sometimes a whole society falls in love with a certain style in art, because it's trying to rebalance itself, like France in the late 18th century that wanted David as a corrective to its decadence, or Britain in the 19th century that looked to the pre-Raphaelites to counter the effects of brutal industrialisation.

    有時,整個社會會愛上某一種特定藝術,正是因為它在想辦法平衡自身。例如十八世紀後期的法國,瀰漫著腐朽卻崇尚畫家雅克.大衛;或是十九世紀的英國,追求前拉斐爾派,抵抗武斷的工業革命。

  • The art a country or a person calls "beautiful" gives you vital clues as to what is missing in them.

    一國或一個人稱之為「美麗」的藝術作品能夠讓你察覺他們缺失了什麼。

  • It's in the power of art to help us be more rounded, more balanced and more sane.

    藝術的力量,在於它幫助我們成為更圓滑、更中庸、更神智健全的人。

  • 4. Art helps us to appreciate stuff.

    4. 藝術幫助我們欣賞事物。

  • The media is constantly giving us hints about what's glamorous and important.

    媒體不斷在告訴我們什麼是迷人的、重要的。

  • Art also tells us about what's glamorous and important, but fortunately  - given that you weren't invited again to the Oscars this year - it usually picks on some very different things.

    藝術同樣也揭示迷人、重要的事物,但幸運的是,看在你今年不會被邀請至奧斯卡頒獎典禮,它看上的通常是一些非常不一樣的事物。

  • Albrecht Durer makes grass look glamorous.

    阿爾布雷希特.杜勒 (文藝復興時期畫家) 讓草看起來富有魅力。

  • John Constable draws our attention to the skies.

    約翰.康斯特勃 (英國風景畫家) 將我們的注意力導向天空。

  • Van Gogh reminds us that oranges are worth paying attention to.

    梵谷提醒我們,橘子也是值得一看的。

  • Marcel Duchamp challenges us to look again at the seemingly mundane.

    馬歇爾.杜象 (現代主義藝術家) 挑戰尋常平凡的事物。

  • These artists aren't falsely glamorising things that are better ignored, they're justly teasing out a value that's been neglected by a world with a deeply distorted and unfair sense of what truly matters.

    這些畫家並不是放錯重點了,他們只是從一個深受扭曲、判斷偏頗的社會中,理出一些被遺忘的價值。

  • Art returns glamour to its rightful place, highlighting what is genuinely worth appreciating.

    藝術讓迷人之物回到他們正當的位置,突顯出真正值得欣賞的事物。

  • Nothing seems further from good art than propaganda; the sort encouraging you to fight or what government to support.

    沒什麼看似比宣傳還要更悖理藝術的了,說的是那種鼓勵你參戰或是支持哪個政黨的宣傳。

  • But one way to think about art is that it is a sort of propaganda, in the sense of a tool that motivates and energises you for a cause.

    但一個思考「藝術」的方式是,它也算是某種宣傳,作為一種工具,為了某目標激勵你。

  • Only it is propaganda on behalf of some of the most important and nicest emotions and attitudes in the world - which it uses its skills to make newly appealing and accessible.

    只不過,它宣傳的是世界上一些最重要、最好的情感和態度。它運用技巧使它們看來更吸引人、更好達成。

  • It might be propaganda about the simple life, or about the need to broaden one's horizons, or about a more playful, tender approach to life.

    它或許是宣傳簡單的生活、關於擴展視野的重要性,或是一個更富趣味、柔順的生活之道。

  • It's a force that stands up for the best sides of human nature and gives them a platform and an authority in a noisy, distracted world.

    它是一股力量,為了人類天性最好的一面而挺身,在吵雜、混亂的世道中提供一個平台、一種聲音。

  • For too long, art has attracted a little too much reverence and mystique for its own good.

    長期以來,藝術為自身招攬來太多的聲望和神秘。

  • In its presence, we're like someone meeting a very famous person. We get stiff and lose our spontaneity.

    看到他們時,我們就好像在會見達官貴人。我們變得僵硬,失去了我們的自發性。

  • We should relax around it, as we already do with music, and learn to use it for what it's really meant for: as a constant source of support and encouragement for our better selves.

    我們應該和藝術輕鬆相處,就像我們和音樂相處的方式,並學習以藝術的真意運用它 : 一個為了使我們成為更好的自己,不斷支持並鼓勵我們的來源。

What is art for?

「藝術是用來做什麼的?」

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藝術可以用來做什麼?(What is Art for?)

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    林彥廷 發佈於 2019 年 03 月 24 日
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