I read elsewhere that writing is a solitary experience. I am agreed thus far because I spent numerous moments hunched alone on my keyboard. I sometimes wonder if anyone would notice my efforts. History is the mess that remains of our ancestors’ endeavors as they try to survive, whatever their motives are. One’s intentions in achieving a goal are not always squeaky clean as far as the ego is concerned and not to mention self preservation. Anyway to chronicle history honestly it would mean not erring as far as taking sides is concerned, but to give as precise a detail as a historian can muster.
There are two concerns that a work of art can be preoccupied with as far as our society is concerned. Let us accommodate the fact that a work of art, by the nature of its origin, by its insistence in our lives it is a social product. By the same token the artist can be looked upon as an outlet through which a particular society can be looked upon. This looking upon, this gazing that an artist undertakes when they make work that valuates a feature of a society, to be approximate (or ‘precise’ if you wish to use that word) their own society – their reportage or visual portrayal of society serves to surface the nature of that society as far as a particular feature of that society is concerned. At this meditative level an artwork can be looked upon as a study.
In the present writing I wish to term these concerns that an artwork can be preoccupied with as far as it being a study of a society as ‘levels of social critiques’ of which there is a Primary Level of social Critique and Secondary Level of Social Critique respectively. However, before we penetrate deeper into what I am proposing here, we ought to take a step back and look at an artwork at its gross state. If you allow me the liberty to sanction your consideration of the art object at that virgin moment before its intercourse with the public; at that point when the spectator looks at it for the first time or in the case of a literary text, when a reader experiences the work through a first reading, what we will encounter at this state is a social artefact that demands nothing but our time for its consumption. If it is aesthetically pleasing we are urged to acknowledge the abundance of decorum that the human hand and vision are capable of. If it is prophetic in its nature we will be warned through it of what doom looms arround. If it is stylistically developed and deploys new ways of methodology in its construction it will pave or, if you will, forecast other possibilities in art making. And if it pulls and deposit all these ‘Ifs’ in it, it is an explosive breakthrough – it undeniably changes how art will be made from that point onwards. But only if we the recipient of the artwork grants them time and consume them.