Sunday, June 10, 2012
What Occupies My Thoughts Today
This is the tidbit that has occupied my thoughts today:
Art, though, is mortal. It breaks, burns, decays; it's thrown out in the trash, blown up in wars, and buried never to be found again. Ancient Greek literature contains mention of thousands of sculptures and paintings, yet none of the paintings survive, and only twenty-four sculptures from a seven-hundred-year period are clearly attributed to individual sculptors. When the Moghuls invaded Persia during the thirteenth century, the first six centuries of Islamic painting disappeared. More than 90 percent of medieval manuscripts have been lost. Even such a popular and recent genre as eighteenth-century Dutch painting had suffered a loss in excess of 90 percent by the end of that one-hundred-year period. Art can outlast humans and is sometimes the only evidence left of entire civilizations, but it is hardly immortal.
What lasts is the desire itself to leave some trace of ourselves indelibly in the world, and we keep looking for new ways to fulfill it.
- from In The Desert Of Desire: Las Vegas and the Culture of Spectacle, by William L. Fox.