The role of art in today's world

I would like you to understand well what I am going to say next: the meaning of human existence is art. And I insist: only art makes human beings happy. And then I explain myself. But first, let me explain what I mean by art. First of all, I understand art as human existence itself. 

Is there a more perfect work of art than life itself? 
What author would be capable of such a great work?

Second, I mean by art any and all human activity that expresses feelings; who is free and conscious; who is not selfish and wants the common good. The purpose of art, then, would be human happiness. When “art” oppresses, enslaves and disparages others, it is not art, it is propaganda, ideology. This "art" does not serve. All art that segregates must be despised.

In other words: any artistic expression, whether in poetry, literature, music, dance, sculpture, painting, etc., must be built from the perspective of the other, so that the other identifies, finds, and becomes perform when you come into contact with this art. And that is why we need to educate ourselves, read good books, listen to good music, etc., because only through education are we able to distinguish between the art that liberates and the art that enslaves.

Recently teaching a class to Psychology students at a private college here in Manaus, I asked them the following question: "What is the role of art in today's world?" and the answers were the most diverse. Among so many interesting responses, I highlight here three of which most caught my attention: 

1 "Art frees human beings from sameness"; 
2 “Art serves to make human life more pleasant, beautiful”; 
3 "Art is a way of eternalizing feelings".

Naturally, I will not comment on any of these phrases, just say that for many of these students, art is not good or bad, it is something to be felt. It was also possible to notice, in the students' answers, that art is the shortest path to human happiness, because all art is intense, concrete, and the moment of creation is the peak, the ecstasy, the full happiness of the artist. Corroborating this idea, the French painter Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), states that: “art can be bad, good or indifferent, but whatever the adjective used, we have to call it art. Bad art is art, just as a bad emotion is an emotion ”.

For all these reasons, I dare say, it doesn't matter the time, the context, the ideology, the artistic segment, the art is, and always superior to the feelings, to reality, the feelings, the dominant ideologies, in short, to life. Just as the poet lives for the perfect rhyme, for the ecstasy of creation, the artist lives for the sake of art, not the other way around. It is as the Maranhão poet Ferreira Gullar (1930-2016) says: “Art exists because life is not enough”.

Only when the human being can understand that he himself is the most perfect and most beautiful work of art that exists in the world can he free himself from the bonds of consensus and from all the dominant stereotypes and ideologies of today's society. Finally, I never tire of meditating on the wise words of the Greek philosopher Plato: “The invisible and the tangible are a deception of the senses that prevent seeing the real reality: God” and hearing the beautiful song by the group Secos e Molhados ( 1973), with perfect interpretation by Ney Matogrosso:

“Think of the telepathic dumb children
Think of inexact blind girls
Think of women, changed routes
Think of wounds like warm roses
But just don't forget the rose, the rose
From the rose of Hiroshima, the hereditary rose
The radioactive, stupid, invalid rose
The rose with cirrhosis is the atomic anti-rose ”.

Luís Lemos
Philosopher, university professor and speaker. Author of the books: The first look - Philosophy in Amazonian tales (2011), The religious man - The journey of the human being in search of God (2016); Jesus and Ajuricaba in the Land of the Amazon: Stories of the Amazon Universe (2019)