Aristotle states that the purpose of tragedy is to arouse “terror and pity” and thereby effect the catharsis of these emotions. For example, In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo commits suicide by drinking the poison that he erroneously thinks Juliet had tasted too. The audience usually finds themselves crying at this particular moment for several reasons. Primarily because losing a loved one is a feeling that all of us have experienced. Watching or reading such a scene triggers the memories of someone we have lost (either by death or by mere separation), and because we are able to relate to it, we suddenly release the emotions that we have been repressing.
This feeling can also be aroused when looking at works of art. What we often call Dark Art serves this cathartic purpose, by allowing us to experience our deepest nightmares and fears, the biggest one being death, and release it. The art does not cause the fear, if it is real art, it simply brings up what is sitting in our unconscious. People avoid looking at it because they mistakenly believe that it causes them to feel a certain way, but the fact is the the feeling was already there. It is like people talk about avoiding socializing with certain individuals because their ”vibrational level” whatever that is , is too low. Wrong again. All that person has done is triggered your own experience. If we took responsibility for our own emotions, tasted them and allowed ourselves to feel them deeply, our lives would have much more meaning and depth because we could purify enough to finally start tasting our spiritual nature. Humour in art that evokes the paradoxical or absurd of life also serves that purpose too. Not slapstick rabbit balloons…(Jeff Koons)
Our society now is enamoured with showing no affect anywhere, positivity has caused us to squelch our deepest fears and emotions not just individually but as a society, so that we have become walking zombies, feeling titilation but never deep joy. For to feel joy you must have acknowledged all your deep seated emotions conscious and unconscious, (grief, anger, fear) explored, experienced them and accepted them as part of being a human. We have become so numbed that we need porn to feel anything at all. Sensuality is dead.
That is why we need expressive art more than ever showing all our gamut of emotions to help us purify. Photographically correct art without emotions is pointless in my estimation in our times. Abstract art is dying. We need to meet the hate and violence and fear dead on in ourselves to cleanse it from our souls, collectively and individually. Love as a heart painted on canvas will not wake us up…it is just another false decoration like all the silly pop art around that says nothing like, flying pigs…
Stop the judgemental positivity and political correctness and lets get down and dirty.