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THE ART OF EXPRESSING THE HUMAN BODY PDF

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So, therefore, these people are coming in and asking me to teach them, not so much how to defend themselves or how to do somebody in. Rather, they want to learn to express themselves through some movement, be it anger, be it determination, or whatever. So, in other words, they're paying me to show them, in combative form the art of expressing the human body. Here is the record of a man who had to overcome his own obstacles in life, and who achieved success because he believed in himself. Perhaps you can use this inspiration to achieve your own success. Even now, I feel Bruce's presence, and he still motivates me to this day.

A pure case might be the poet for whom the poem simply comes to mind, unbidden, without its being written down or even said aloud. There is no distinction to be drawn between planning and execution in such a case, and none between actions as means and actions as ends. If the poet had in mind something analogous to a blueprint for the poem, he would already have composed it. What of 4? It might be tempting to think of the words as the raw material, the poem as the finished product.

But T. Eliot for example did not choose the words needed for The Wasteland and then proceed to arrange them into the poem. Collingwood simply leaves this point hanging, because it would require his own positive account of art as expression to explain it; that will come later. He also neglects the possibility that the raw material of the poet is simply the language as a whole. Finally, the distinction between form and matter as it applies to art is not the sort required by 5.

That distinction requires that the self-same matter be capable of having different forms placed upon it; if we cannot identify the matter in the first place, then the distinction cannot get a grip. It bears repeating that the claim is not that no works of art have any craft-like features; it simply that any definition of art in terms of those features would exclude some unimpeachable works of art Or rather, success in being craft is strictly immaterial to its being art; no craft-features make an object into a work of art.

Collingwood is well aware that for example an opera requires a great deal of planning, technique, raw materials, and so on. But this is to assimilate works of art to mere means; Collingwood is quite serious in his denial of this. It is plainly a matter of skill, of technique, since one can envisage a successful outcome before undertaking it.

So art cannot be representation. But the theory that it is is so venerable and influential that it demands separate attention. Not, however, because of Plato and Aristotle; Collingwood holds that despite popular opinion, they did not hold it!

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Collingwood advances a very liberal notion of representation, such that a great deal more artefacts than one would initially think could rightly qualify as representative. For the standard for fidelity is not resemblance, but that the feeling evoked by the artefact resembles that evoked by the original. Representation comes in three, overlapping degrees.

The first is that of the ordinary photograph, or paintings and the like which attempt that sort of literalness. At the extreme, he may paint mere patterns of, for example, a dance, leaving out the dancers.

Collingwood does not say what the exact difference is between representation and expression, but I assume that it depends first of all on whether or not the artist has a clear conception of what he is trying to represent; if he does, then his activity is craft, not art proper.

As we will see below, this is not implausible because the artist, at least according to Collingwood, does not literally know the expressive content of his artwork in advance of expressing it.

Nor is it explicable as Freudian neurosis, which assumes that every society employing magical practices is to that extent sick. Magic is the ritualized representation of useful emotion, not for the sake of catharsis, but for the practical value of the emotion.

The war-dance, for example, instills courage by dint of drums and spears, and frightens the enemy should he catch a glimpse.

Of course false beliefs may play a role, which the theory of magic-as-bad-science seizes upon; the rain dancer may think he increases the probability of rain. The Freudian theory regards the representation as omnipotent wish-fulfilment and therefore fails to account for this latter effect, which indeed Collingwood supposes to be vital to any healthy society.

Happily, our society, or our societies, are replete with magical phenomena. Religion, patriotism, sport, social customs such as dinner parties, weddings, funerals, dances, and so on all involve in one way or another ritualized actions that are undertaken at least partly for magical reasons.

Of course magical phenomena are probably on the wane. Religious art—say a twelfth-century crucifix—may be aesthetically fine as well as induce a pious awe in the mind of the believer. But the fact that a suitably kitschy product may also serve the latter purpose shows that the magical effect can be aimed at independently from the aesthetic admittedly, Collingwood underestimates the problem of disentangling these purportedly different responses—for some people, only an aesthetically fine thing can generate strong pious emotions; perhaps Collingwood can allow that some art proper may be instrumentally necessary for the achievement of magical ends.

Frequently, the particular form of this mistake is to think that an attitude towards the subject-matter embodied in a work is rightly taken as the object of purely aesthetic criticism. Most of literature and drama are actually amusement—not only for example Thackeray but most of Shakespeare are included.

But remember that amusement and art proper can co-exist, i.

Collingwood stresses—in —the rise of decadent amusement works, especially pornography but also for example the case of literature or film appealing to our love of imaginatively dwelling amongst the upper classes. Now all this is by the way; amusement is craft, not art. But the points he raises in this connection are important to his main subject, because a certain tradition wrongly identifies the success-conditions of arts of amusement as the standard of taste for art proper.

Collingwood’s Aesthetics

Hume, for example, wrote as if the criterion for success in a work of art is the excitation of pleasure in suitably refined individuals. Art as Expression If art proper is not the stimulation of preconceived emotion, and not the representation of it either, then what precisely does it mean to say that, nevertheless, art is the expression of emotion? The key is to remember that art is not craft—Collingwood assumes that the reader will accept this, once it is pointed out—and hence the distinction between means and ends does not, strictly speaking, apply.

Nor does the distinction between planning and execution. Instead, Collingwood writes in a passage that is often quoted, when a person expresses an emotion, he is conscious of … a perturbation or excitement which he feels going on within him, but of whose nature he is ignorant. This is an activity which has something to do with the thing we call language: he expresses himself by speaking.

It also something to do with consciousness: the emotion expressed is an emotion of whose nature the person who feels it is no longer unconscious. It also has something to do with the way in which he feels the emotion.

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As unexpressed, he feels it in what we called a helpless and oppressed way; as expressed, he feels in a way from which this sense of oppression has vanished.

His mind is somehow lightened and eased — The following three points emerge from this. To express is to become conscious of an emotion: that is why the distinction between plan and execution cannot be applied.

Expression individualises; rather than describing the emotion in words whose signification is in principle general, the expression is a feature of the utterance itself although he does not credit him, this is an evident example where Collingwood follows Croce.

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Thus we cannot speak of the emotion embodied in a work of art as if it were the content which the art provides the form. It is the achievement of clarity, of focus of mind, which may indeed intensify what is felt rather than attenuate it though typically it does not. Betrayal can even occur that is wholly unconscious; one can blush without noticing it. The relation between expressive object and emotion is that of embodiment or realization, not of inference. Art as Imaginative Creation To conceive art as the craft of emotional stimulation or arousal—whether for the sake of amusement or magic—is to regard the material work of art as the intended means towards a preconceived end.

The falsity of that conception—assuming that art is essentially the expression of emotion—shows that the work of art as not an artifact at all so artworks are not artifacts; Collingwood was aware that language sometimes suggests theoretical mistakes.

Now take for example a lecture given on a scientific topic. The former may be complete in advance of, or indeed without ever, being uttered or written down: the actual speech-event, as a sequence of noise, enables a suitably equipped listener to reconstruct the created thing is his own mind, therefore to grasp its scientific content, but is inessential to it. And so it is with works of art. The actual making of the tune is therefore alternatively called the making of an imaginary tune.

This is a case of creation … Hence the making a tune is an instance of imaginative creation. The same applies to the making of a poem, or a picture, or any other work of art. What precisely is the motivation for this move, the conception of the work of art as imagined or ideal object? Leave aside the special cases of music and poetry, which Richard Wollheim notes have the special feature that they can be written down see Wollheim Why not conceive painting, for example, as the creation of certain painted objects?

This would be consistent with the thesis that painting is a not craft. The answer given by Collingwood is clear, but leads to trouble when we consider the question of interpretation. These phenomena are not literally features of the canvas, but they are in some sense features of the work.

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So Collingwood, in brief, includes within the work of art proper all that would normally be ascribed to the correct interpretation of the artwork.

But there is no reason to accept this, any more we should include all the relational facts—sowing, fertilization, watering and so on—that contribute to a growing plant to the plant itself.

On contrary, the position makes it impossible for two spectators to disagree on the interpretation of a work. Irrespective of the concern with the privacy of the experience, if they attribute different properties to the object—that is, they find different properties in their respective total imaginative experiences—they are simply concerned with different objects, and their verdicts are compatible.

As a matter of speculation, Collingwood perhaps thought that aesthetically relevant properties—expressive properties—have to be intrinsic properties of the work of art; in that case, perhaps his conclusion does follow.

But it is much more satisfactory to hold that what we are arguing over when we disagree over the expressive properties of a work of art is the same object. A Theory of Expressive Imagination Not a great deal hangs on that thesis, at any rate.

A great deal more hangs on the thesis that art essentially is, or without prejudging the ideal view, exercises, the expressive imagination. The difference between the imagined lecture and the tune is that the content of the lecture is verbal and cognitive, and brings those departments of mind into play; whilst the tune, among other things, brings the emotional department of the mind into play.

At the most basic level Collingwood distinguishes thinking from feeling. Thoughts can be true or false, justified or not, where sensa have no such duality: they are felt or not felt, but cannot contradict each other. There is sense in which sensa can be said to be real or unreal, true or false for example in hallucination , but this not an intrinsic feature of sensa themselves; that distinction applies only to thoughts involving them.

Thus for example every colour carries with it a certain emotional quality.

Art of Drawing the Human Body

Not that they are invariably experienced with their particular emotional charge; the charge is more like a disposition to be experienced a certain way, under certain circumstances.

Sensa are occurent phenomena, and therefore fleeting : If I hear the bell striking the hour of four, the experience comprises many passing sensa, each no sooner generated than gone. But if I am to be aware of them as a process extended in time with particular morphology, I must retain the sound of the bell, along with the silences in between. The objects that I so retain cannot be the sensa themselves.

Bruce Lee: The Art of Expressing the Human Body

Instead, the faculty of conscious attention generates ideas corresponding to the sensa, and which are retained. Sensa alone—or sense data, or impressions—are never sufficient for consciousness. And another word for this is imagination. But imagination, since it deals not with sensa but with their ideated analogues, is a type of thought, and with the introduction of thought comes the possibility of error.

The possibility of such disowned feeling is the possibility of false, or corrupt consciousness Language That Collingwood has a theory of language might seem tangential to his theory of art, but in fact it is integral to it. See our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. See our Privacy Policy and User Agreement for details. Published on Jul 1, SlideShare Explore Search You. Submit Search. Successfully reported this slideshow. We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads.

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