Musings on Photography

Audience

Posted in Blogroll, the art world by Paul Butzi on March 3, 2009

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I found the following on Terry Teachout’s blog

“An audience aware of the importance of its own opinion can be dangerous. An audience that seeks above all to have an opinion–and to parade it–is a menace. The audience that believes that one goes to the theatre to form an opinion–that opinion is what the theatre aims to create–is destructive of all real values in the theatre even when its opinion is favorable. The theatre is a place for experience rather than for judgment. An audience’s merit is its capacity to feel rather than its disposition to hold court.”

Harold Clurman, “Tryout” (New Republic, Aug. 2, 1948, reprinted in The Collected Works of Harold Clurman)

I like Teachout’s blog a lot. I like this quotation quite a lot, because it seems to touch directly on what I think is a real problem, not just in theatre but in the world of art consumption in general.

2 Responses

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  1. doonster said, on March 3, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Just as bad are those creating work with the aim to encourage such opinion forming.

  2. Michael Allen said, on March 3, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Clurman, Teachout, and Paul Butzi are all absolutely dead right. It’s all that deadly education in the arts that is the cause of all the trouble — college degrees in fine art and all that nonsense. All any ‘artist’ (dreadful word) should try to do is get the audience to FEEL. Make ’em laugh, make ’em cry, and shut the f*** up about opinions, ideas, metaphors, deeper meanings, spiritual journeys, and every other kind of pseudo-intellectual junk.


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