Today's blog is brought to you by a combined efforts of Past Grace, Current Grace, and Hypothetical Future Grace. They hope you enjoy it.
Art and culture and the like has been preying on my mind a lot lately. As part of my eternal struggle to figure out what exactly I want to do with my life, what exactly I enjoy has come into that a lot. Then you start thinking about what you enjoy in relation to what other people enjoy and what that says about you and them and suddenly BOOM CURRENT GRACE HAS LOTS OF THOUGHTS.
Past Grace had very definite ideas on culture. Everything to do with theatre had to be new and interesting and avant-garde. Novels that weren't by respected early twentieth-century authors were guilty pleasures. Past Grace didn't watch shows like Gossip Girl because those were trashy and she wasn't like the other girls in her school, she watched ~thought-provoking television.We're going to stop talking about her because I kind of want to punch her, but she was sixteen so we'll forgive her.
Current Grace doesn't know what she's at, let's be honest. Current Grace is getting a bit annoyed at people consuming media "ironically" or namedropping bands that no one else has heard of yet or talking about how people are only reading The Great Gatsby due to the Baz Luhrman film.
We'll get to Hypothetical Future Grace in a bit.
I feel that a lot of the time we're missing the point of art. Art is meant to inspire emotion, but emotion is not limited to feeling shocked or thinking long and hard about the current state of the patriarchy. Laughing or thinking something is pretty is emotion too, you guys. Art is doing it's job if it's causing you to feel something that you may not have felt that day otherwise. We don't have to justify those emotions to anyone else, just like we don't have to justify why we're consuming any one type of art form. Writing off entire music genres as mindless pop or claiming sci-fi films are stupid escapism is something that pisses me off no end, because guess what? If the artist has put their all into their work and come out with something that is done well; and they are proud of; and inspires any sort of emotion, then they can rest happy because that is art and your opinion of the validity of it doesn't really matter.
Where this ties into Hypothetical Future Grace is how art used to be (and probably still is, to a degree) separated into "high" and "low" culture. In the '80s the French cinema du look came onto the scene, and it was criticised as being a form of low culture due to its emphasis on aesthetics rather than substance. It's still all to easy to think of certain forms of art such as opera as being associated with snooty women in pearls drinking champagne at the interval. I don't know if this idea of high/low culture is breaking down and being replaced by people identifying with a certain tribe (be it hipsters or screaming 1D fan girls), but we are all being judged by what we listen to on Spotify. Will this idea of class and culture continue? Will Hypothetical Future Grace stop being middle-class because she loves Kreayshun? Or will she be dismissed as having "bad taste" despite the fact taste is completely subjective so defining taste as "bad" is inherently a bit silly?