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Sontag and Interpretation

Clairity's picture

In her essay, Sontag is strongly against the contemporary way of interpreting the art, which is to focus on its content and its meaning. I feel like this way is a modern trend -- to find meanings behind the art. It poses a lot of pressure on people who are appreciating the art, because they're expected to find some kind of "significance". My experience when I was writing my Barnes essay is a good example. Although we were asked to write a descriptive rather than a analytical paper, I still felt the need to include a "discovery" or conclusion on the piece of art in the end of my essay. Sometimes we try so hard to achieve the things we feel that we have to achieve, but in the meantime, we are missing the point. We should look at art for what it is, instead of attempting to impose a meaning that makes sense but we don't truly relate to.

Sontag proposes that we should emphasize on the sensuous form of the art, which reminds me of my trip to the Magic Garden. I didn't interpret anything when I was surrounded by the amazing mosaics, but rather let everything in. All I did was seeing, hearing, and feeling. I was a free person at the moment.


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