Contemporary feelings?



Last weekend I visited the art exhibition „Feelings“ in the „Pinakotek der Moderne, Munich.“ The idea behind this exhibition was to intuitively approach art from an emotional perspective. The curators wanted to find out to what extent does our view of art depend on our personal experiences and memories? Which feelings emerge as we contemplate works of art, if our gaze is led by intuition alone? So they left out names, dates, descriptions, titles. Only the pictures were seen.

I was contemplating the pictures and felt disconnected with the images. My intuition was telling me that there were created at least 60 years ago and I found it difficult to relate to them. It was definitely not my „contemporary feelings“. I feel even more connected to the eternal subjects of nature from the 19th century but not to the art objects presented. When I had a look at the catalogue at the end, I could see that the presented art was created mostly in 50th or 60th. And suddenly this puzzle started making sense. The themes presented were absolutely revolutionary at THAT time and innovative. But not from my point of view of today. When equipped with the context and the stories behind, I came back to some pictures and could understand them much better.  

I think that different times bring their own fascination into the art. But our feelings while watching paintings depend on the reference point. The pictures that I encountered in the exhibition might have been revolutionary at their time and caused probably deep feelings. Seen from today’s perspective they are a part of art history and lost their contemporary character. So, the word “contemporary” has also a time meter in it and as our speed of life is getting faster, even 10 years ago does not produce “contemporary feelings”.

Thinking about music, the best example is the evolution of the compositional output by Valentin Silvestrov. If you compare his first piano pieces from 1961 and his bagatelles from 2005, you would hear what I mean by “contemporary emotions” and how we perceived it in 2020. There is a clear trend. I would like to invite you to listen to this fascinating music and share your thoughts.

What do you think is the current trend? What are contemporary feelings?