Chronos Eating His Children – Nemanja Cvijanović

The work of art is defined by context. Outside the cultural context and with the disappearance of social and cultural ties, the value of the work of art changes and, the more it is removed from its context, the more it is based on its immanent characteristics. Should this removal from context be radical and absolute, these characteristics would end up being incredible and bizarre because it would be impossible to connect them to meanings in which they would have a point. Therefore, the work of art itself would become meaningless. Today, the answer to the question of what makes the cultural context in which modern art works are created is very complex and somewhat sensitive, because it raises questions on social stratification and the differences in various cultures making up the social layers. The work of art belongs only to those layers that can perceive its meanings, to all the others it is merely a bizarre artifact. The ones who find the work of art meaningful and those to whom it is bizarre communicate in a universal meta-language of evaluation. In that way there is a possibility to create a new type of connections with the community, much wider than that understanding the connection between the work of art and its environment. This type of connections is expressed through ownership and exchange. The exchange can be seen only as the transition of the work between two different subjects whose relationship with the work is expressed mainly through ownership. The fact that the relationship between the subject, i.e. the bearer of the cultural context and the work of art relies on ownership, i.e. on exclusive property rights, makes this context dominant in relation to the work of art. Should this relationship become radical and absolute, the work of art would end up losing its immanent characteristics and the possibility to relate to meanings which would make it meaningful. Therefore, it would become meaningless. In that sense, the work of art can only exist in harmony with the cultural context, only there can it be autonomous.

Davor Mišković


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