Monday, March 06, 2006

Vocation

Art is making intelligible . . . We speak often in aesthetics about making reality intelligible, about perceiving some interior truth and expressing it. I had a curious thought about directing yesterday. It seems to me that the point of directing (or at least as I understand it) is to make a play intelligible. It almost makes the director like an interpreter and the creativity comes into play not through creating something new per se so much as discovering the best way of expressing something to a particular audience. It is perhaps a step removed from making reality intelligible--that is the goal of the playwright--but it is making the intelligibility intelligible through making is visual, spacial, and temporal. I think a few years ago this would have seemed degrading or non-artistic to me. But now it seems the way to fulfillment and satisfaction. There are few things so glorious to me as making concrete the concepts of a play, focusing the energy of actors, coordinating the visual and auditory elements--all to the end of making intelligible the interior truth and structure of the play. I have struggled for so long with the inability to express and articulate why I think some works of art are brilliant and have recently felt that I can do no better than to indicate, to point and affirm. In a way, directing is a response to this problem. Through my interpretation I can show in a physical, temporal way at least a part of the beauty and truth inherent to the work.

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