“The thing is, meaning is not absolute. It does not reside inside the artwork to be unlocked or decoded and revealed. Meaning is something that happens between you and the work. It’s different for you than it is for anyone else, and it’s always shifting, changing, depending on who you are and where you are, and what’s happening around you.
The artist does not own the meaning. And neither do the experts or authorities who present it to you. They are voices in the room, often very good and compelling ones, but ultimately you determine the meaning for yourself and only for yourself. “
— Sarah Urist Green from The Art Assignment
(Love love love this quote, so much great stuff is buried within! For starters its a great reminder on how we interact with art and that we are, indeed, interacting with it. It may seem, at first, like we’re only passive observers but it is quite the opposite — there is a lot going on. It is almost an ongoing dialogue, and the meaning we create is very much our own that may both include and be irrespective of that of the artist’s.
Even greater however is that we can replace “art,” “artist,” and “artwork” with “events,” “the world,” or “our life” in order to delve into the quote even deeper and explore its implications, inspirations, and liberations in whole new ways. What layers can we uncover in doing so? What dialogues that we thought we had long ago settled upon can we re-engage with? What new futures might we write?
So much to unpack, both in the quote and inside of our created meanings. Very well said.)