I'm not sure I will ever think about sublime in the same way again, there are so many different factors involved in the essence of what it means to experience the sublime. This final small chapter was one of my favorites in the entire book, a nice and sweet ending to all ideas involved. Not to unnecessarily stroke this artist's ego, but I can't help it, Abramovic's statement was my favorite of the chapter, though there were provocative others:
Beyond the Body - "The amplified body is no longer the container of it's rhythms. The humanoid form is transformed into the cuboid space. The body becomes hollow, resonating with its own echoes." Stelarc
HanD HearD/Liminal Objects - "There are works of art that require initiation. This does not mean that they require explanation, special consensus, or any other prescriptive bearing. It does mean that one must discover an appropriate mode of entry which is more than informational." George Quasha and Charles Stein
This was a very short statement, but I enjoyed it because it dealt with very human and magical ideas. Rationality vs. what we truly believe, and how the irrational has potential and much to offer for art and art practice.
" Only among good friends can someone admit that he believes in dreams, telepathy, acts of providence, astrological prophesies, magical power or visions. Our rational way of thinking demands proof, evidence, but this is only one element in our perceptive capabilities. Things which we cannot explain rationally are eliminated from our lives, as if they were non-existent. We don't want to know anything about them. Art is a field in which the non-rational may sometimes be tolerated, where it is creatively employed. I want to introduce the non-rational into our society."
I love to fancy notions of magical power, dreams, prophecies, and telepathy, mostly because believing in these unrealities allows you hold onto and reach a part of yourself that most things/people in life tell you to ignore. In some ways, to believe asks you to access your own internal, to access a belief that is undoubtedly your very own. It feels as though it becomes that forever argument between you and your own rationality. What you perceive as fact and true, and what you perceive is actually happening. I like to believe it's a combination of both that propels us through our planes of existence.
"Artists today? They are couriers, they accompany people on the true adventure, a journey into the inner self. There are no firmly established religious structures any longer, the old structures have all been destroyed and new ones have not yet emerged. Artists accompany us on our search for a new order."
What I appreciate about this last quote is that Abramovic is not afraid to assert that artists have an authority and position of leadership in shaping the ideals and beliefs of the greater whole. Of course I agree, in a most honest and sincere way, though I do believe that collective mindset has yet to catch up. It takes time for a generation to understand the one that follows it, in a way that encourages and facilitates leaders to make changes that better living and life for everyone - and this is optimistic. I'll never forget a conversation that was had in my Contemporary Art Theory class with Mrs. Anne Marie Oliver, where the role of art of was discussed. Conclusions were made - that art is what an artist feels the world needs. An idea so broad and infinite, to try and suggest definition otherwise would be futile. So to imagine for a moment that collective world thought can perhaps be swayed by the notions of generations of artists is completely beautiful and absurd, and in the most considerate sense, nothing short of magical.