Posted by R. John Howe on March 22, 1999 at 21:46:20:
In Reply to: Re: anti-collector posted by Michael Wendorf on March 22, 1999 at 21:11:16:
Only (although Ozick would not permit that word I think) that the relationships between human beings and venerated art objects can elevate such objects so that the relationship becomes dysfunctional for human beings. It would rehearse I think a species of the argument that I applied (or misapplied) to Katharine's original post, which seemed to me (perhaps incorrectly) to glorify the relationship between human beings and art unduly.
I am particularly uncomfortable with phrases like "living through one's art."
And I want to acknowledge the subtley visible in Katharine's thoughts but there is already some cheering from some about how her post has assuaged a feeling of guilt they had about the place of art in their world.
Everyone needs, of course, to make such a decision for him/herself but I would prefer that we worry a little from time to time about this.
Now some others clearly take a different position, Christopher Alexander, about whom I have, perhaps talked too much recently, says that people can see "the face of God" and images of their "most authentic selves" in rugs. This sounds rather closer to what Katharine has described.
I do not want to strain at knats here, and I probably misinterpreted Benjamin, but I do not think the issue I raised is something simply to be passed off as an extreme rarity. It may not be modal but I suspect it happens more frequently than one might think.
R. John Howe
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