Academic journal article Review of Artistic Education

Artistic Personality in the Light of Socio - Cultural Integration

Academic journal article Review of Artistic Education

Artistic Personality in the Light of Socio - Cultural Integration

Article excerpt

1. Cultural differences in creativity

A pertinent question is that if some societies really stimulates creativity and if creative personalities and artistic productivity and/or innovation are higher in some societies than in others. At first glance, these differences seem too obvious to be discussed and the only question is which are the factors that stimulate creative personalities? If we go further considerations or exploring ethnographic elements, we see they make us ask questions on this subject, and our assessment is based so much on ethnocentric selection of what is art and creativity. It is very possible that there is a similar proportion of aesthetic and creative capital in any society, but it is coordinated by the circumstances offered by life and cultural interpretation, in ways that we do not generally consider art or that there are ephemeral forms over which we have not still a registered statistics. The general opinion is that: "The amount of creative expression that is permitted or expected may differ from one society to another, from one period to another, from one craft to another, from one genre to another, and even from one part of a carving to another" (Bascom 1969, p. 111). It is accepted the idea that some people are born with a special talent for artistic creation and at the other extreme is the idea that anyone can become an artist, because in each of us there is the latent creative potential.

Anthropological interrogations were dealing with those aspects of culture that promote and discourages creativity or innovation. Example of Bali country is very interesting from this point of view, because it believes that a person "is an artist", even if it has a conservative civilization in which innovation is not the rule. Based on her experiences in Bali and in other cultures, Margaret Mead (1935, 1940 and 1959) offers some hypotheses on one of the important factors that seems to promote creativity. It is "a symbolic development experience" that occurs early in a child's life, the formalization of roles and statuses in which the child is placed successively before being integrated into larger groups of children.

When this kind of experience is combined with exposure to more symbolically valued activities from an early age, he begins to manipulate and combine creatively many symbolic elements which are at his disposal. Some descriptions include Bali culture tend to use symbolic artistic situations so much that they seem a kind of escapism for a viewer from the outside. Other theories correlate the degree of creativity with social or psychological factors. Who is an artist? The definition of an artist can be: an artisan, man or woman, who, through a creative recombination and/or innovation make an artifact (tangible or intangible, i.e., a statue or a song) that reflects a high aesthetic component. This will include the ability to influence others in this kind of production. Such a definition is widespread, and this suggests the intercultural significance of this concept.

Who were the artists whose efforts were regarded as special in their own society and how were they identified? Two complementary questions can be put in this situation: How to reconcile the perspective of primitive societies in which "every man is an artist" or that in society artists "select themselves", with the idea that some crafts are made only for certain classes or people? What chance has a creative person to become an artist in these societies that prescribe exactly who will practice some artistic pursuits? Being nominated by birth in a particular social class or being successful in the creativity comes in clear contradiction with the idea that anyone can be an artist. But the choice limitation is only a limit of conditions. Many artists, even in our society, highly specialized, choose if his work is just for daily use or a work of art with obvious aesthetic traits, to which undertook with devotion.

The element of motivation, the opportunity to learn the craft and the recognition of this ability by other members of society are highlighted in the case of Àbátàn, a sculptor-clay female (African village, Yoruba), whose life was studied by D. …

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