A friend was telling me the other day that when Anish Kapoor makes works of art, the only purpose behind it is to evoke emotion. The cavernous black abysses that permeate his work, or at least the work at the MCA, were not created to make you think about anything in particular, but just to make you feel. If this was Kapoor’s grand plan, then it would be a brave critic to say that he was unsuccessful.
I’ve never quite seen an art exhibit like this one. It had children and adults equally enthralled but it was their faces that revealed the true genius behind the art. It was a mixture of confusion, joy and curiousity and it was infectious. People tried to take photos of the mirrors, light and materials which created these emotions but all too often they didn’t come out. This is because many of the artworks were as much tricks of the mind as they were visual pieces and a photograph cheapened the bewildering experience you’d just had.
The exhibition is one of the better ones I’ve ever been to because it is so accessible to people who are not “in to” art. Kapoor’s ideology, if my friend was quoting him correctly, suggests that all art can only be subjectively experienced which reminded me of an argument I had once about whether the Mona Lisa could be considered art if no one saw it but Leonardo. Is only the artist see an artwork, is it really art? If an artist knowingly creates a piece of an art without meaning but it is perceived as art, is it art? If an elephant paints a picture which causes emotion in those people who view it, is that art? I don’t think there is any right answer to these questions which is what makes them so interesting to ponder.