Part Two of TOPIC 3 Section 1
Theatre as art
Before we look at theatre as art, we have to define what art is.
Art is the expression or application of human creative skills and imagination, typically in a visual form.
We look at art through a special lens known as "aesthetic distance."
The distance between the viewer’s conscious reality and the fictional reality when looking at art.
This image has two pictures. The picture above is a set of urinals; the picture below is also a set of urinals but the urinals are in the shape of different colorful flowers. You know the urinals are not flowers but they look like flowers. You are applying "aesthetic distance."
Art has FOUR characteristics
1. Art helps us understand the world 2. Art gives us a “heightened reality” 3. Art is “safe” 4. Art is synthetic
Art helps us understand the world
Art becomes a window in the understanding of other cultures.
Through art, people are able to communicate about their society, about their customs and about their traditions.
Art gives us a "heightened" reality.
Through "aesthetic distance," we are able to see the ordinary as extraordinary.
Art is safe
Art may be controversial; and while challenging your beliefs, it does not harm you.
Art is synthetic.
In other words, art is man-made.
While we look at art through "aesthetic distance," we look at theatre through "suspension of disbelief."
Suspension of Disbelief
A wiliness to temporarily put aside reality in order to accept the make-believe.
Superheroes are not real yet we accept them as real when watching a film.
Theatre then becomes a form of art because.... 1. It is a literary art (the script) 2. It is a performance art (the show) 3. It is a form of entertainment We also look at theatre with both aesthetic distance and suspension of disbelief.
Therefore, since theatre is an art form, theatre can be seen as...
1. Entertainment 2. Educational 3. A Tool of Political and/or Social Change 4. A Document of History
For the first part of this topic, you need to understand the definition of art and Aesthetic Distance.
The FOUR characteristics of art, suspension of Disbelief, as well as what makes theatre an art form, and how we seen theatre due to art.