COULD ORIGINALITY BE DEAD?

The originality of self expression and the aura of the true self.

So, you are an art student. It is your first day at school, college, or university. You cannot wait to start learning about making a painting, sculpture, as well as a video.

Until your lecturer says to you, nothing is original in art. Your perspective of art is shattered. What does that mean? How can art not be original? Besides, it was created by an individual who was moulded by their experience right?

To understand originality, we must first understand the definition. The dictionary meaning is being unique, as well as something that is not like what others do. We should therefore consider this when applied to creative work, that it has its own personality which is unable to be replicated without the loss of a visionary aspect. Barthes and Malraux; both philosophers, state that creative work is not special due to the influences of others. They came to this conclusion because a creative may often have subconscious inspiration from things that are made by others as these surround us the most. Additionally, it can be argued that the art world has see many styles and techniques. Thereby making it difficult to surprise the audience with something that has not already been done by another craftsperson.

However, it can be debated that creativity is innovative. Afterall, it matters not what is the inspiration. Rather, how the artisan may choose to combine differing styles along with influences to create a piece of work that is their way of expressing themselves.

Because everyone has an experience that is unique from one other. This is what Walter Benjamin concluded, creating the term in art “aura”. An aura is the presence that you cannot mimic through reproduction as its time, and space will be different.


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By Jasmine Chan: Arts Columnist



A great example of this is through performance art. Marina Abramović’s The Artist is Present is an experience that allows each member of the public who visits the performance to have a one-of-a-kind encounter with the artist. Abramović sits in front of them, and stares at them for a while until the viewer decides leave. This is something that cannot be replicated due to the happening being so variable. It is constantly changing due to either the environment or the audience. Consequently, this makes it something unique when we apply the definition of aura and originality.



As we come to the end, there is still chances of originality being alive.

On the other hand, it is generally agreed that no artwork is unique to the point that it is completely brand new. Afterall, the art world has become saturated with many things been done already. Instead, we should consider redefining what is original. That is, through the expression of an artists’ individual experiences into a visual art form. Along with this, should be the idea of the aura which cannot be replicated. Thus, proving that there is still potentially a chance for art to be original.


MACKAYAN: IS ORIGINALITY A MYTH?


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