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Disability Aesthetics and Outsider Art

Letting the artwork speak for itself

Chewy Charis's picture

" Can something be art if it’s made by someone who doesn’t called herself an artist and who doesn’t even know what art is? " This line appears at the beginning of the BBC video, and similar statements reoccur in different readings. I couldn't help but recall the story about fish an happiness, where one person saw fish swimming and claimed that fish were happy. The second person asked, "You are not fish, so how do you know if they are truly happy?" The first person responded, "You are not me, so how do you know that I don't know? " And that is my question. It is perhaps a trivial one, but the assumed ignorance bothers me. Even if no communication is assessible, can the appreciation and recognition of art be innate? 

Art to communicate?

kefio05's picture

One topic that I found extremely interesting while reading all of the articles and watching the videos, was that especially for Judith Scott, everyone described her artwork as her way to communicate with those around her. For example in the New York Times article, DiMaria states '‘‘It was pure,’’ he says. ‘‘I don’t mean to fetishize that word, but it’s true. They are using their work as a means to communicate.’’'. The powerhouse that DiMaria has made Creative Growth into is incredible, but this was one statement that made me feel a bit weird. Isn't art another way for us to express our emotions, feelings and to present our perception of objects/ life/ the world around us? If so, then isn't art a form of communication for everyone?


sarah7's picture

"Traditionally, we understand that art originates in genius, but genius is really at minimum only the name for an intelligence large enough to plan and execute works of art - an intelligence that usually goes by the name of 'intention' " - Siebers, 15