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 Post subject: Line Between High Art and Commerce
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2000 8:10 am 
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Article from the Los Angeles Times - discusses the very interesting issue of corporations demanding more "bang for their donated buck":<P><BR><A HREF="http://www.calendarlive.com/top/1,1419,L-LATimes-Search-X!ArticleDetail-14626,00.html?search_area=Articles&channel=Search" TARGET=_blank>The Line Between High Art & Commerce Blurry and Getting Blurrier</A><P>


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 Post subject: Re: Line Between High Art and Commerce
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2000 10:54 am 
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An interesting and surprising article. Cards on the table - I'm a liberal who applauds the European model of public funding (as well as other forms) for the Arts. And yet, I found little to worry about in this article.<P>The examples given, such as the museum selling repo. furniture and naming an auditorium after a corporate, do not worry me at all. I'm pleased that companies support the Arts and I'm also pleased if they get benefit from it. I like to see corporate logos on programmes - it means the arts company has got its act together on funding. I'm not pleased if they influence the content of the arts product, but only one possible instance was given, the Armani one. If those allegations are correct then it is deplorable. <P>Saatchi is genuinely interested in contemporary art and has done much to raise public awareness of the art form in the UK. When he started his collection it was very unclear that they would go up in value. In any case, as far as I know, he doesn't trade the items, but places them in his own gallery and elsewhere. <P>Our National Theatre regularly transfers productions to London's West End and beyond. That was where 'Les Miserables' started life. Their 'Guys and Dolls' was also terrific and I think it entirely appropriate that they should produce their version of the wonderful farce 'Noises Off'. If they only produced very accessible work like this then I would be worried, so there is a question of balance.<P>In general, the division between high art and entertainment is unclear for me. AMP's 'Swan Lake' is a much more successful work of art than a lot of heavily subsidised art house productions, in my view. <P>Actually I can believe that large individual donors often try to gain far greater influence than corporates, who have a variety of stake-holders to account to. <P> <P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited December 23, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Line Between High Art and Commerce
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2000 12:08 pm 
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And from my conservative point of view, I also have no problem with corporate funding and advertising.<P>Like you, Stuart, I have a deal of problem with calling something "high art" - because then there would have to be "low art". And who's definition would that be? <P>And, I agree that much more control might be exerted by an individual donor than a corporate donor. <P>


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 Post subject: Re: Line Between High Art and Commerce
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2000 4:51 pm 
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good point stuart:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>In general, the division between high art and entertainment is unclear for me.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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 Post subject: Re: Line Between High Art and Commerce
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2000 5:18 pm 
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While I can certainly appreciate the benefits of creating partnerships between commercial enterprises and non-profits I only need to look to Hollywood to find my personal dividing line between "high art" and "entertainment". There are not a lot of films produced by the major studios in California that appeal to me; it seems there are a lot of vehicles for flavour-of-the-month "stars" with scripts that have been ridiculously mangled through a number of re-writes by a "team" of writers in order to satisfy those who have invested in the "artistic" product.


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 Post subject: Re: Line Between High Art and Commerce
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2000 12:54 am 
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Marie said:<P>'I only need to look to Hollywood to find my personal dividing line between "high art" and "entertainment".'<P>Hollywood is an interesting test case Marie. I agree that there are a lot of formulaic, meretricious and unentertaining films produced there, but on the other hand there are popular masterpieces like the films of Hitchcock which regularly appear in lists of the 10 best films ever made. Today, we have the Coen Brothers who make stylish accessible films that win prizes at Film Festivals like Cannes. In some ways I have more admiration for directors, like John Boorman, ('Deliverence', 'Hope and Glory') who can produce high quality work within the commercial sector.<P>In general, I still prefer European art house films, but the distinction between high art and low art is problematic. Is 'Coppelia' High Art? The 19th C Russian intelligentsia would have laughed themselves hoarse at the thought. <P>These terms can be used in a general way and there are examples where most might agree - 'Giselle' is High Art and 'Porky's 11' is not. However, as with a term such as 'ballet', 'High Art' does not help to provide a set of distinct boxes for sorting works of art. <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Line Between High Art and Commerce
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2000 4:02 pm 
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good point, marie...and stuart!<P>i wonder, when marie talks of the 'big california studios' producing films: it made me think - where were hitchcock's films produced? in hollywood, or in england? you know, there were so many 'now classic' B/W films produced at pinewood, or wherever, in england....way back when......

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 Post subject: Re: Line Between High Art and Commerce
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2000 5:46 pm 
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I guess my problem is with the words "high" because then there has to be a "low". I would rather use the word "different". <P>So much of it is in the eye of the beholder. When Nureyev was asked to name his idea of some truly great dancers, Fred Astaire's name was very high on his very short list (Eric Bruhn was also named). That surprised many people. I don't think of Bruhn being of a "higher" art within dance than Astaire. They are just different.<P>And if a company making or selling a service wants to underwrite the performance of either, I congratulate them, even if it is a performance of something in which I have no interest. <P>As for strings being attached to gifts, well, government does that too. And for the most part, that represents a caution.


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 Post subject: Re: Line Between High Art and Commerce
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2000 7:10 am 
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i seem to remember, pretty close for word to word, the quotation from a documentary about balanchine which said, 'to balanchine's way of thinking, the distinction between high art and popular entertainment was not worth making."


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 Post subject: Re: Line Between High Art and Commerce
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2000 9:01 pm 
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No disrespect to Mr. Balanchine, but since he worked on both sides of the artistic fence in both classical ballet and Hollywood I can see why he wouldn't put much value in investigating the distinction between high art and entertainment since both had lined his pockets. <P>Incidentally, Martha Graham was said to have thought that dancing on Broadway was whoring yourself. She may have died poor but she certainly had an opinion about the social location of the work she was making.<P>Of course our ideas of what is of artistic value changes through time, and trying to put everything into tidy little boxes is a wasted effort--except if you work for a government agency, or are a number cruncher in an office somewhere--in which case it becomes of paramount importance. Which is fundamentally why I think it really is important to engage in critical discourse about art because if "we" don't consider the worth of artistic creation, someone else will. Like it or lump it, that's basically how our society works, we assign values.<P>("Porky's II," Stuart? LOL! Image) <P><BR>[This message has been edited by Marie (edited December 26, 2000).]<p>[This message has been edited by Marie (edited December 26, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Line Between High Art and Commerce
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2000 5:46 am 
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While it is true that we assign values to things perhaps almost subconsciously, when we are asked to call art either high or low, and therefore of more worth or less, we are being asked then to assign a value for others. <P>I would rather speak of preferences. I prefer classical music, but that does not intrinsically make it more valuable than pop music. I, personally, cannot create either. <P>Both are worthy, both give pleasure, both are creative, both are evocative.


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 Post subject: Re: Line Between High Art and Commerce
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2000 4:49 pm 
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ah....yeah......BUT<P> Image

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 Post subject: Re: Line Between High Art and Commerce
PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2000 10:33 pm 
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Grace, could you elaborate...LOL Image


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 Post subject: Re: Line Between High Art and Commerce
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 3:20 am 
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Mozart.....ABBA......Smashing Pumpkins.....<P>

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 Post subject: Re: Line Between High Art and Commerce
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 3:37 am 
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Exactly.


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