Jonathan Townsend wrote:
erdnasephile wrote:- Are magicians really the best people to answer the question posed?
IMHO there's much room for discussing how a work relates to its subject, to its audience and to it's context among prior works. What makes a work effective, how does it improve upon prior works and for whom does this work relate what prior works have not affected? IE beyond new ad copy in a magic catalog or 'effect description' listing an a book, what merits does an item have as an addition to our craft?
I agree, JT.
My point was that perhaps those that love magic are a bit too close to objectively assess it's place amongst the performing arts. (Weber's remark that many magicians are desperately running around trying to convince themselves and others that magic is art is what made me think of this).
Can magic really be legitimate art if virtually the only people who think it is are those that love it?
While it's true you can't judge art by the public's taste (apologies to WC Field), can we completely ignore it in such discussions? Can I be an artist if the vast majority of my audience believes I am not?
That said, how does one account for artists who are ahead of their time, whose artistic genius is only recognized by later generations?
My high school English teacher used to define a classic is "somthing that has stood the test of time". I rather think this also may apply to what is true art.
Which brings me to this chilling question: will any of my audiences think of me as an artist next week? Next month? Next year? How many of my magic heroes' performances would be considered art when viewed by a non-magician 50 years from now?
I certainly don't have a definitive answer to this question, but I believe that my personal answer will likely involve some sort of assessment by the intended audience, as well as some sort of enduring legacy.
I'm enjoying this discussion! :)