Must be some kind of zeitgeist thing but I’m noticing articles that complain about how works are art are over-explained in program guides. I really liked a piece by Alice O’Keefe (Information overload) which inspired me to wonder if we crits sometimes overdo it when we try to explain “difficult” art. The answer is of course that we do sometimes instead of, as O’Keefe suggests, letting the work explain itself and connect with the audience. Which isn’t to say that ANY kind of context should be tossed out the window but let’s not get carried away. Another piece about classical music in the Philly Inquirer (Like exegesis with that?) echoes this idea as well as a hilarious piece at the Huffington Post (A gentle plea).
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