Friday, May 9, 2014

"A Space Which Cannot Be Owned"

"It's a great tragedy for painting that paintings can be owned. Composers and novelists and poets don't have this problem. Nobody can walk out of the symphony hall with the symphony in his pocket, even if he pays $500 million for it, because the symphony exists in another space---a space which cannot be owned."
Roger Scruton, The Representational Art Conference 2014 Keynote Speech


  1. Hi Dan,

    Thanks for sharing the Scruton video, it's full of good ideas. Do you think that bad jazz displaces good jazz following Scruton's use of Gresham's law, particularly in modern jazz?



    1. I don't endorse all of Scruton's views, but I am sympathetic to many of his arguments concerning aesthetics. And while music may be at a relative advantage in the way he suggests, there is nonetheless a great deal of money at work in music and it is tremendously influential. Money, institutional status, grants, prizes, and journalistic and critical attention are all involved in creating reputations and, yes, in inflating them beyond their artistic merit. When an artist is rewarded in this way, even a great one, it certainly is likely to draw floods of weak epigones. If the Gresham's Law analogy is in fact apt, however, it means that people at least know the difference between good and bad.