I take inspiration from the lyrics of mogol for battisti to write a bit about a little word that is used and abused from anyone that is creative: emotions.
This little word, so we get to the point, gives the creeps. Right!
Whoever uses it as if it was for free: “the emotions of a model”, “my own emotions”, “to communicate emotions”… and so on…
Excuse me if (as if I’ve never) with presumption, arrogance and badly concealed didactic intent I will have my saying on the subject: nobody gives a damn of your (and my own!) emotions! Really nobody, not one!
The history of art is not, and has never been, the history of single emotions of single individuals.
Art history proceeds and advances always based on what has been there before. The historic and cultural context is what makes sure that things happen.
Therefore it is necessary not to begin from your own personal emotions (in which nobody gives a damn, but maybe I said that before..) but from the knowledge of what we (we, not me) are in this precise cultural and historic moment: to then, eventually, give our personal contribution in order to create advancement and progress.
It runs along by itself then that to do something valid you need to know. Without knowing it is impossible to say something interesting. Knowing what was there before us is a fundamental step in hoping to create something new.
You cannot write novels if you haven’t read all the novels in the world. You cannot write poetry before you haven’t read all the poetry int he world. You cannot make music if you don’t know all the music in the world. And so on…
All this for a simple reason! Because the people and the intimate emotions do not count (which, I don’t know if I said this before, nobody really cares about…), but you can only count on doing it all over (and eventually improve) from where the previous ones left off.
If you want to do a landscape you cannot take in consideration how landscape have been painted and photographed in the past two thousand years.
If one wants to write poetry it is impossible to do without knowing and loving sandro penna.
If one wants to write music it is impossible to do without knowing bach. And so on to infinity…
Because no one is born like a mushroom in the desert. Everything is born and feeds from everything that is been before. Everything is made in action or reaction to something else. English punk music of the seventies was a breakaway from what was there before, which at its time was a breakaway from what was previously there before. Do you know what the english punks had written on their t-shirts? “i hate pink floyd”.
What seems genious to us becomes nullity in respect to what the others have done before. He who invented the wheel was a genious, if I said now that I had a genious idea in inventing the wheel I would demonstrate only being an ignorant imbecile. Mantegna who at the end of the 1400 painted the well known dead christ brought perspective to the arts, and created a great revolution: but if an artist did the same now he would be seen as an imbecile and ignorant.
We all are what others have been before us.
Isaac newton used to say: “if I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulder of giants”.
When someone bases himself only on the famous emotions to create (which I don’t know if I said this before, but know that nobody cares about your emotions…) there is also another little problem: seeing that, as celine used to say, “Now the dumbest asshole can look at himself in the mirror and see Jupiter looking back”, it easily happens one thinks that their own useless and miserable emotions are good enough to communicate something. And it happens, which is the worst thing, that we forget to talk about the truth and deep I. Of who we are, of what we like. Of where we come from… in short of our story.
Because this is what is really worth: to tell.
Use your brain to tell stories, to tell who you are, to tell where you come from… and you know what? By doing so you’ll be running the pleasurable and unexpected of telling something… exciting!