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August 8, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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Editorial – The Arts

The arts are important. Important with a big, pretentious, Neil Gaiman capital ‘I’.

It’s easy to place too much emphasis on the wrong question as we trudge through life—especially when the bulk of tertiary education focuses on the ‘how’s. The arts are the study of ‘why’. Like some liminal Lycra, culture holds everything in place; it is so total and ever-present that it becomes—as any real omnipotent concept tends to do—more or less invisible. Almost everything we do can be traced along a trail of sources or ideas back to the arts.
The arts are just as vital and all-pervading a force as the tides, space, and photosynthesis. The very act of living is, on at least some level, performative and creative. There’s something rather reassuring in the idea that we are all creating art, all the time—even if it’s just a particularly poetic tweet or an animated conversation.

Art is one of the few aspects of life where there genuinely are no rules: if you wanted to (and we most certainly do), you could argue that ‘Like a G6’ is as valid an artistic creation as Van Gogh’s ‘Wheatfield with Crows’. Moreover, art is accessible, and as hard to avoid, as scientific principles such as gravity: even if you don’t identify with art history or theatre, you engage with an artistic creation every time you stream an episode of True Blood on MegaVideo or laugh at Date My Mom at 3am on MTV.

There is no good art or bad art. There is no right art or wrong art. It just is. To appreciate art and to understand why it is important for its own sake is not synonymous with pretension and haughtiness. It is not an act of looking down; it is just an act of looking. And sometimes that’s all we need to do.
They be actin’ like they drunk, actin’-actin’ like they drunk, sober girls around me, they be actin’ like they dru-uh-unk,
Eleanor Alice Hunt (Freelance Writer) & Uther Charles Allen Dean (Lover. Fighter. Theatre. Writer) *

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About the Author ()

Uther makes theatre. Elle grew up on a boat. Together they edit Salient.

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