Die ikoniese waarde van kuns : estetika en die poetiese faktor van spiritualiteit in ver-beeld-ende kunste en ver-beeld-ingryke teologisering

Louw, Daniel (2014-03)

Please cite as follows:

Louw, D. 2014. Die ikoniese waarde van kuns : estetika en die poetiese faktor van spiritualiteit in ver-beeld-ende kunste en ver-beeld-ingryke teologisering. Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe, 54(1): 1-21.

The original publication is available at http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_issuetoc&pid=0041-475120140001&lng=en&nrm=iso

Article

Die hipotese dat kuns meer behels as ’n soort kunsvlyt of meganiese handvaardigheid, (maakmoontlikheid), en dat estetika ten diepste ’n spirituele kategorie is wat verwys na die mens se soeke na transendente raamwerke (en aldus ’n ikoniese dimensie besit), word met behulp van die metodologie van ’n poëtiese hermeneutiek ondersoek. In die lig van Sokrates se stelling dat kuns ’n spirituele, siel-saak is (Gombrich 2006:85), en die tese dat die mens wesenlik homo aestheticus is, word gekyk na die spirituele dimensie in veral die visuele en beeldende kunste. As kernfaktor word die wisselwerkende verband tussen verbeelding, inspirasie, verwondering, ekstase, entoesiasme, sin-duiding en kwalitatiewe waardering ondersoek binne die breë verband van die vraagstuk van estetika in kuns. Vanweë die skynbare verband tussen materie en ’n “utopiese bewussyn”, word die spirituele dimensie in estetika gebruik om opnuut die betekenis van Godsbeelde teologies te ontsluit. Binne ’n soort religieuse estetika word die Pauliniese uitspraak oor die astheneia, of weerloosheid, swakheid van God, teologies gekombineer met die skreeu-snaakse (bespotlike), maar dwase, kruis-kreet: My God, my God waarom het u my verlaat (derelictio, verlatenheid en verworpenheid).

In the light of the hypothesis that art implies more than merely a mechanistic reproduction of craft, this article investigates the spiritual and transcendent realm of art. With reference to the philosophy of Ernst Bloch, namely that matter is “spiritual” and contains a kind of “utopian spirit” (“Geist der Utopie”) and could in this regard be rendered as iconic, it is argued that the endeavour of art, very specifically the visual arts, is inter alia an attempt to probe the “spiritual dimension” inherent in an observed object. Art is inter alia involved in the endeavour to decode life within the human quest for meaning, justice and dignity.To a certain extent art is “iconic”; it signifies life. It is argued that art presents and creates a kind of cosmic language (“Sprache”) to be deciphered by poetic speech and creative imagination (Jaspers 1962:157). Due to a “Socratic view” of life, namely that art presents “the workings of the soul” (Gombrich 2006:85), one could presuppose a close connection between art and the creativity of the human “spirit”. Within the framework of hermeneutics, the interconnectedness between art and imagination, awe, ecstasy, enthusiasm, meaning-giving and a qualitative evaluation of matter is detected. What is “beautiful” in arts? Beauty implies more than “pretty”. Beauty even probes into the realm of ugliness, human suffering and painful disintegration. In this regard the art of Pablo Picasso becomes most relevant. Picasso rendered art as a lie that helps one to tell the truth better (In Hyde 1998:12). “The painter takes whatever it is and destroys it. At the same time he gives it another life” (In Huffington 1988:118). Evil and the destructive elements in life can also become objects of art. Tragedy and death are ingredients of aesthetics. “Terrified of death and convinced that the universe was evil, he (Picasso) wielded his art as a weapon and meted out his rage and his vengeance on people and canvases alike” (Huffington 1988:12). It is furthermore argued that,in the light of the possible utopian spiritual element present in matter, and the religious dimension represented in the iconic value of objects of art, aesthetics could be applied in theology and the Christian faith in order to reframe existing God-images as related to the notion of divine power. The Pauline version of a theology of the cross and the notion of the vulnerability of a suffering God (astheneia) are used to describe the ugliness of God’s forsakenness (derelictio): the parody of divine folly.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97488
This item appears in the following collections: