“It’s not an experience to be figured out or unraveled. Art is there for its own sake.” Thoughts on Homemade Esthetics, Greenberg. (p.80)
The artwork is in the same space with you. One cannot avoid this ‘real’; therefore the object exists in a place without taste. Taste overlies this primary experience of being ‘there’ with the work of art.
An “immediate esthetic experience” is an imperative; the individual does not have a choice in how they respond to the work of art. The choice does not exist for the viewer; they are trapped by their direct personal opinions of aesthetic perception. Furthermore, their opinion of the work is linked to their ability to articulate their reaction to another individual. This articulation only reflects their experience. What I find particularly interesting in this argument is the impossibility of changing a person’s mind by revealing my opinion about a work of art to them. An example is found in art criticism: writing is an approximation of the experience of art. Writing can only look back at and stab at the ideas found in the experience of art.
We can convince someone to change their ideas of art, but not their experience of art. This is to say that the individual’s aesthetic response to an artwork is predetermined by the individual’s perceptual ability and begins with their fixed personal experience with the work. Art is the experience of a particular object framed by context, a complex series of perceptual interpretations. Another’s opinion, either written or verbal, cannot change this relationship between the viewer and the artwork. The only way an opinion can truly change, is through the viewer making return visits to the work of art; the more I experience or ‘look’, the more I understand what I am experiencing, the more I can develop my particular understanding of that experience.