Arash Safavi – Week 3

Jan 25, 2019

  1. McLaren, Nadia, dir., Muffins for Granny, 2007; Toronto, ON: Mongrel Media, DVD
  2. De Botton, Alain and John Armstrong, Art as Therapy. London: Phaidon Press, 2016

I notice I’m using art specifically photography as a coping mechanism. Maybe most of you do the same. When I feel good, I have to take a picture and even when I don’t feel good I need to take a picture. I usually talk with the picture. For me, minimal photography is putting life on pause and just capturing a visually satisfying frame. It’s like a break from life. Then I started to do some research about it and came across “Art as Therapy” Book by Alain De Botton & John Armstrong, Oct 2013” Alain De Botton is a Swiss-born British philosopher and Art Therapist and John Armstrong is an Australian-Scottish art historian. It is an interesting combination for writing a book. Art as Therapy argues that certain great works of art offer clues on managing the tensions and confusions of everyday life.

It speaks of art in the manner, which is accessible to everyone. It is not about wine glasses in hand and appreciating something on the wall, and acting all pretentious. It is about nonetheless, life and how we live art and also sometimes its therapeutic and redeeming nature in our lives. The bigger question that the book seeks to answer is: What is art’s purpose? What does it do or not do for humans? Why is it needed at all?

In this book, de Botton covers different aspects of life through art – love, nature, money, and politics and how art acts as a catalyst to solve the daily worries of life. A photograph then becomes more than a photograph. A painting then becomes something that you connect with so strongly, that you can never let go. Alain looks at everyday problems, everyday issues and uses art to relatively solve them. For me, there is a story behind every one of these photos. There is an envelope below each of them. I told their story in a minimalistic way, just a word for each of them. I took these photos to forget the incidents, as I mention a coping mechanism. No way you can guess what happens to me by looking at these photos and I really like this.

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