The importance of being unimportant

posted by Ainsley Drew   Sep 30, 2009

An interesting article in The Brooklyn Rail debates the value of commercialism versus criticism in the art world. Riffing off of an essay called “Frivolity and Unction” from Dave Hickey’s book, Air Guitar, writer Shane McAdams opines that art doesn’t have to be “important” to be good:

“Art” can be unimportant and still allow for the experience of a work of art to be life-changing. I value the memories I have of listening to baseball games on my grandparents’ porch, but Baseball, as a concept, remains entirely unimportant. Such concepts as baseball, art, and Hickey’s example of rock and roll, are wholly unimportant except for the experiences they foster and the history to which they contribute.