Essay Page 6


Thanks, Chris.

I agree that challenging art is not going to win over the masses right away, but the Academy has sealed a lot of art off from any real audience at all. The result is almost no art at all coming out of the universities, just garbage.

For every Glass composition (and he has written scores for popular movies, by the way -- I'm thinking of "Hamburger Hill," a movie about the Vietnam War), there are hundreds if not thousands written by composers who are only listened to by other composers or their own students.

The first rule of art is that it must be emotionally engaging. Otherwise why bother -- you might as well do crossword puzzles or play chess.

The second is that it must have a real audience, not just a professional audience.

I would even go so far as to say an art work isn't complete until it is listened to, seen or read by someone, and that someone is emotionally moved or aesthetically pleased by the experience.

Emotional engagement, a real audience: Those are exactly what most contemporary "serious" art, music and literature lack.

The result is inbred, pretentious, pseudo-intellectual, sterile