Monday, February 27, 2012

Hockney: The Art of Seeing

I thoroughly, thoroughly recommend that you watch the Hockney documentary which aired on BBC2 this evening. He is so articulate, so self-knowing and so inspired by change of all kinds, that it really was a revelation.

In one part of the programme, Hockney talks about how memory affects how we see the world. That no two people can ever look at the same thing in the same way. And, in that sense, we are all alone. But, while even he laughs slightly at his bleak philosophy, there is something magical about that idea. How boring would this world be if we all looked and saw in the same way?

It feels somewhat trite to say, but Instagram is confirmation of this beautiful aloneness we all experience. The ease and speed of the platform allows us all to share what we each are noticing in the world; the little things which prick our memories and emanate with individual meaning. On a larger, more artistic way, this is precisely the mentality Hockney seems to be both reflecting and encouraging in his RA show. The eighteen screen, moving image landscape allows each viewer to focus on what they are drawn to, not what the artist intends.

Whether it be time shifting the seasons, or providing the passage for technological progress, Hockney's embrace of it is a lesson for us all.

David Hockney: The Art of Seeing