For me, the essay that speaks to this time is Susan Sontag’s Aesthetics of Silence, included in her collection of essays, Styles of Radical Will. This essay talks about how art nowadays are leaning towards “silence,” the artist’s expression through his work without the need to communicate to an audience. This has been the trend or a leading motif of modern art, which cuts-off the art and the artist to the audience, instead, their work becomes a zone of meditation and egocentricity (Sontag, 1969).
Art no longer requires a subject that the audience can relate to; instead it is more of a bare manifestation of the artist’s expression without the need to explain one’s self. For me, this clearly speaks about “this time,” which is about individuality and non-conformity. “This time” for me is the present time we are in. It encompasses a lot of things, including the people and the society we live in. We are currently living in a time where almost everyone is entitled to their own opinion, wherein people are not easily swayed by others.
We enjoy a relatively greater freedom of expression as well as existence compared to the time before. Because of this, more and more people are able to freely express themselves without thinking about what others might think. People are able to do things they want to do, without fear of getting branded as non-conformists, deviants, or just plain weird. “This time” not only applies to art, but also to other aspects of human existence.
It applies to how we live our lives, how we eat, how we look, how we dress, and a lot more “how we’s.
” Susan Sontag’s essay, Aesthetics of Silence is able to encapsulate the trends and changes in modern art, and for me, this is the essay that speaks about “this time. ” It is not only art that changed but also the people and the society. “This time” speaks of the present, which is characterized by individuality and non-conformity. ?
Sontag, S. (1969). Aesthetics of Silence. In Styles of Radical Will. London, United Kingdom: Renegade Books Limited.