Thursday, June 2, 2016
Perspectivism and Documentary Objectivity
Art is twice removed from reality ~Plato
Painting By Christine Cormier
If art is an imitation of an imitation, since all objects are imitation, approximation, or instantiation of an ideal form, no
Truth that finds its way
by any means of expression is an absolute Truth. Hence, we agree with Nietzsche
“all ideations take place from particular perspectives.” That is why
Objectivism of Ayn Rand that reality exists independent of human consciousness
and is perceivable through sense organs is not tenable.
Kim Voynar says “Are documentaries journalism or storytelling, feature-length beat reporting, op-Ed or color commentary — or some combination of those, or even none of the above? Is it necessary for a filmmaker to capture both sides of a given story to be fully objective? And if a documentary filmmaker unabashedly focuses his lens only on the moments or interview bytes that tell the story he wants to tell — or that his subjects want to tell — has he made what can be objectively called a documentary, or has he made propaganda promoting a particular cause or idea?”
Documentary filmmakers are in the same palisade as writers. The dilemma of Non-Fiction writers is greater due to the onus of citations.
Perspectivism is the rejection
of dogmatism, which has infected literature several times in its history. It
refrains writers from being didactic and could help in creating a legislation for mankind, which does not draw a line between ‘ Art for art's sake’ and ‘art
with a purpose’.
Even if we forget about gaps in signifier and signified and read a story objectively, it is not possible to overlook emotional perspectives. Who can read Anna Karenina without walking across the boundaries of gender and nations? Even than how you perceive Anna is a perspective, and no two individuals have the same perspectives.
Even Imagist and Impressionist are not able to do justice with images and impressions, since by the time an image is perceived and interpreted by the mind, and the writer decides to pen it down, it has changed a thousand times. Moreover, images and impressions pass through a sieve of the subconscious and unconscious and get tainted. The stream is linear while water drops are spherical or oval, so the flow is only apparent. Virtually, only half of it is content and rest half is a void filled by the imagination. Even if it is an enlightenment, which has occurred after contemplation, description will be of the rays that are made of photons. This incompleteness of expression is three-dimensional. The panorama, the vision and the depth of the human psyche are infinite and human perception is finite. Writers often confuse the sense of time with a sense of duration. It could be interesting to compare Bergson with Nagaarjuna’s theories when they define the time and duration. The eastern Momentism (Buddhist) is more scientific in approach. Can moment be further divided into beginning, middle and an end?
To create art for art's sake is also a purpose. When art is not kinetic, it compels the intellect for contemplation. Contemplation leads to self-realization, which is the sole objective of human existence. The intellect that defines the purpose of human existence is not a ‘snob intellect’, but a pure ‘intellect’. The prosthetic senses have limitation of perception. The empirical world consists of many layers like an onion and writers strive to reach the core. Writers who reach closer to the core create the immortal legislation of humankind.
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© Vipin Behari Goyal