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“The sun, having no alternative… Posted on April 11th


shown on nothing new.”  - Samuel Beckett

Is there really nothing new under the sun?  That idea has always bothered me in regards to the arts, because it is so frequently invoked to defend derivativeness.  The phrase “it’s all been done” is used to explain why a piece of art can’t be original, or why a young artist shouldn’t expect to be.  But isn’t it as arrogant to think that we’ve done everything as it is to think we can do something new? 

If you believe that a writer or artist can no longer do anything new or wholly original, then it seems that you must also believe that at one time this was possible.   For instance, in the visual arts, in what era did we reach full creative capacity?  In other words, when was the last time an artist could still do something new?  Was there a single work that marked this end of the era of originality?

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Some Responses to ““The sun, having no alternative…” :

  1. Define “original.” Until we have a definition, it isn’t possible to discuss the question. :)

    Commented DSYoungEsq on April 24th, 2007.
  2. Was wondering if you spent any time in the Bridge Art Fair…?

    Commented otto on May 10th, 2007.
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