That task is still acknowledged, but it has become problematic.
That task is still acknowledged, but it has become problematic.The very faculty of attention has come into question, and been subjected to more rigorous standards…And yet, in a sentiment that calls to mind Kierkegaard’s astute observation that expressing contempt is still a demonstration of dependence, Sontag recognizes that the gesture of silence in abdication from society is still “a highly social gesture.” She writes: An exemplary decision of this sort can be made only after the artist has demonstrated that he possesses genius and exercised that genius authoritatively.
For the serious artist, silence becomes “a zone of meditation, preparation for spiritual ripening, an ordeal that ends in gaining the right to speak.” In a counterpart to her later admonition that publicity is “a very destructive thing” for any artist, Sontag considers the zeal the artist must have in protecting that zone of silence — a notion of particular urgency in our age of tyrannical expectations regarding artists’ engagement with social media: So far as he is serious, the artist is continually tempted to sever the dialogue he has with an audience.
Art is no longer understood as consciousness expressing and therefore, implicitly, affirming itself.
Art is not consciousness per se, but rather its antidote — evolved from within consciousness itself.
Something is neutral only with respect to something else — like an intention or an expectation.
As a property of the work of art itself, silence can exist only in a cooked or non-literal sense.