Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Unbearable Heaviness Of Fame

What happens when we read something by a famous author? What happens when we listen to music by a famous musician? What happens when we look at a painting by a famous artist. Do we read, listen and look in a different way?

I was listening to a musical written by a famous composer, I mean Mega fame not the normal fame, an icon so to speak. I love the work of this person, I am an enthusiast and a vehement follower of his fifty or so years of work. But this particular musical did not do it for me. I was trying hard to find fault in myself, I thought to myself maybe I was listening at the wrong time, maybe I was not good enough, musically, to get it, maybe I need to listen more and give it time to digest it. But all failed. After days of giving the benefit of the doubt I discovered that it is basically a regurgitated version of previous works, a salad of pieces from many different musicals he has done in the past and whatever new ingredients he used were lame. I was also listening to a song by an even more famous singer and wondering if a young emerging artist performed this song what would the reaction be? Would we skin them alive for such mundane lyrics or would we give them a chance?

It is funny how when someone really famous does something below the level of excellence and perfection we call it experimenting or a new direction. We give them all sorts of excuses, maybe they are older and wiser and know better and it must be us that are not up to the challenge of understanding. Would the same abstract painting be given the same respect if the name on it was unknown? Would we treat the same music with reverence if the artist was an obscure name trying to break into the circle of “names”? Would we give importance to the same design if the name was different? Or do we call silly art, abstraction, and bad design a new trend and uninventive silly music experimentations towards a dialogue with the soul etc….

How far would we go with the philosophical labels?

Just wondering.

Maybe the approval of the masses and the hype of the media to any particular person does affect us and our impressions become jaded. We lead ourselves to believe that our conviction about a person is ours and not imposed and we even start to dictate to our senses what they should be doing all alone.

Just an example, how would you be reading this blog if I was X?

1 comment:

Just a Thought said...

I can't agree with you more! the power of perception and impression has always intrigued me! It's amazing how we can easily fall in the trap of our own expectations!!