Meaningful Art

Only the trailer of the award winning documentary ‘Wasteland’ was enough to move me a bit. The film follows the Brazilian photographer Vik Muniz as he  portraits the garbage pickers of Rio’s Jardim Gramacho– the largest landfill in the world. All the money Muniz made from the sale of the pictures were given back to the pickers and their union.
More on Vik Muniz’s work here.

This seems to be a really inspiring project, and I think today art should be made for a reason, not only for the sake of it. I find it great when contemporary art is used to draw attention to important global issues, or just generally to help people while entertaining.

Do you know any other meaningful art projects? As I think about it, the movie ‘Home’ is another example:


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3 thoughts on “Meaningful Art

  1. I was just reading your Stairway to Heaven post, which provides an excellent counter-argument to this one: art at its best provides a space for you to create your own meaning. (And, to be clear, I think Muniz’s work does this quite successfully.) A world where art is limited just to people shouting slogans at each other would be unspeakably awful; like TV except with only advertising.

    I’d be tempted to go so far as to say that it’s usually better if art is created just for the sake of it. In the words of Ad Reinhardt, “Art is Art. Everything else is everything else.” See also: Dylan – ‘My Back Pages’.

    • Thanks Zane for your comment. You definitely have a point. Thinking about it, maybe it’s more about the artist. I’m more attracted to a piece of art from an artist who is aware of the way art can have an impact on people’s life and the world in general. But yeah, you’re right, defining art is also limiting it. There’s enough space for all kinds of art.

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