This video has intrigued me and it will turn up in next term’s TOK teaching somewhere. Recently students were variously intrigued and bemused by Creed’s Turner Prize winning light installation, and now I will give them this to chew on. TOK asks what art is for and how we might judge art in general. Leaving Kantian aesthetics aside and putting the Daily Mail stereotype of “no paintbrushes” firmly back in the box, they need to look at this and consider whether it is art and if so, how they know this.
All I will say is that many I hade shown the video too are amused once the initial shock is past. They laugh and emotional response is produced. They smile and then, hopefully, respond in someway to the uninhibited pleasure that the dancers convey. Possibly this is, indeed, life affirming even if surprising.
I tweeted the link and the reply from Richard van de Lagemaat was this couplet from Burnt Norton: “Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind/ Cannot bear very much reality.”
I think this where the lesson should begin. Is there a limit to the mimetic quality of art?