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Filipe Novais

Thank you Rosário for starting the discussion on this topic “Are we all artists?” for the Forum “Arts and Spaces of Thought.”

The challenge on this topic is related to Joseph Beuys’s idea “Everyone is an artist” (See Posts “Joseph Beuys and Creativity in the World” and “Joseph Beuys”). May be it would be clearer if it was said “We are all creatives in the world”, as I use on Posts on this website. But we also know that Beuys liked to be provocative and he tried to get as far as possible with his ideas. And he wanted to expand the concept of art… that is, he didn’t want art to be what artists do!

Neither “everything is art”, as Duchamp said, nor art is the profession of artists. As well as politics is not the profession of politicians… Art and Politics are the activities that we find in the realm of human affairs, and not only in doing works. Who makes works of art, thinking and acting in the world can be an artist and can also be a professional on it. But art or to be an artist are much more than that. They belong to the world, in plurality.

As I wrote on the Post about Beuys, to change society for the better we must create original forms and constantly improve this sculpture that is an ever-changing process. And this is a task that can only be done by taking advantage of all creative capacities of all individuals and not just those of a select group of people usually referred to as artists. That’s why “everyone is an artist”.

I can also be a bit provocative and say that I know many painters, sculptors, film-makers who are not artists… And I know bakers, economists or nurses who are artists in the world. I agree with “everyone is an artist” because it expresses the essence of the human being, each one being the expression of his freedom, and this way each one can incorporate and carry forward the impulse for change in the world.

On knowledge and art, It’s important to remember the difference between “thought” resulting from the need to think, and “cognition” resulting from the desire for knowledge. These two completely different mental activities have two altogether different concerns, meaning, in the first case, and truth, in the second. The need for reflection is not inspired by the quest for truth, but is inspired by the quest for meanings. And truth and meaning are not the same.

The idea of the discussion was not to write so much… but I’m using parts of posts that I’ve already written : )

We can all create, thinking and acting in the world. Can’t we all be artists?
Regarding knowledge, isn’t it better to leave the cognitive process to other activities of human beings such as science? And leave Art to the creation of layers of meanings in the world…