Saturday, September 03, 2005

A key paragraph, I think, from Rick Groen's article on Cronenberg and Egoyan in today's Globe and Mail:
In that scene, Cronenberg finds the art that Egoyan holds sacred. And he finds it for the very reason that nothing is entirely sacred to him -- even art, especially his art, must co-exist with the profane. So all hail our reigning monarchs who, in their different ways, serve us well. As to who has served better, I don't know where that truth lies -- but I'm damn sure where my affection does.
More soon.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That article relates to your earlier discussion with regard to the distinction between works of art and works of entertainment; a distinction that I argued doesn't actually exist, and one that has very little to do with aesthetics and more to do with the socio-culture values associated with each category (thus, by extension, its a class distinction we're really talking about): that there is, for example, value (it is assumed) in Egoyan precisely because of its "art-house" context (the term art-house is used immediately in the article) -- or, as Groen points out, it's values are those commonly associate with being "European," thus sophisticated, and "fragmented," thus hip or Modern. I like that Groen sides on the Cronenberg side of things, as he is infinately more interesting, whereas Egoyan films, for me, date themselves from the very moment the final credits begin.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

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4:58 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Yeah, I think I agree with you that Cronenberg is more interesting than Egoyan, but for me the difference is, as Groen suggests, what seems like Egoyan's veneration of the notion of art, or perhaps of his art. I think it's probably really healthy when artists call their work their "shit." I think veneration creates a barrier that prevents the artist from getting into what he or she is doing.

On the matter of the distinction between art and entertainment, I think much of what you say is true, and I do think the distinction is problematic and fluid. Class is undoubtably part of the story. I wonder though what you mean when you say that the distinction between art and entertainment "doesn't actually exist." People certainly use the two words deliberately and in different ways, and they often draw distinctions between them.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

I think to be fair I need to draw this out more. What I mean is that the art vs. entertainment distinction isn't like, say, unicorns, in that there's something else to appeal to when people talk about unicorns to confirm whether they exist or not. Where would the distinction between art and entertainment exist except in our cultural coding, except in the way people talk and write, except in the way the two are determined by various institutions? And I'd argue that the distinction exists within the realm of aesthetics for the same reasons. This isn't to say that the current ways in which the distinction is played out can't be, say, hypocritical or flawed or ideologically determined.

I think this distinction is worth making, especially if you've got your eye on a different state of affairs.

To anyone who expected a big conversation: sorry for the deletions.

9:03 PM  

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