The Joy of Not Getting It
Mark Billington of The Guardian discusses why making esoteric art more accessible should not result in a dilution of the artist's original vision. Despite being about Theatre, it touches on relevant questions and debates that exist in 'difficult' art forms such as experiemental music.
Art that bewilders one generation becomes accessible to the next; or so it would seem. Widely reviled on its first appearance in 1955, Beckett's Waiting For Godot now packs out the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, which is usually associated with dressy revivals of Wilde and Coward. Pinter's No Man's Land, once regarded as unfathomable, recently had a profitable West End run. Picasso and Rothko are established gallery favourites. And, although Britten's Peter Grimes is now seen as England's national opera, in 1945 it was viewed by many as a "difficult" piece. So how does one explain the transformation in popular taste?