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What Do Artists Do - Essay Example

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This paper, What Do Artists Do?, talks about art which is something our society thinks is created by artists. Almost everyone contributes to art in some way, yet no matter how a society organizes itself, it requests its artists to fulfill similar tasks…
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What Do Artists Do? Art is something our society thinks is created by experts known as artists just as doctors practice medicine and engineers designbridges. In other societies, almost everyone contributes to art in some way, yet no matter how a society organizes itself, it requests its artists to fulfill similar tasks.
Firstly, artists create places for some human objective. For instance, Stonehenge was maybe created as a place where a community would assemble for ceremonies. Very close to our own time, Vietnam Veterans was created by Maya Lin as a place for meditation and commemoration(1.6) .The Vietnam War is one of our most painful memories which saw thousands of young men and women being killed in a far away conflict that was more and more questioned as well as protested at home. By the time the war ended, the nation was bitterly divided that the returning veterans got almost no recognition for their efforts. In this environment of an ongoing debate, the role of Lin was to build a memorial, honoring the human sacrifice of the war while at the same time neither praising nor criticizing the war itself.
At the center of the memorial is a long, tightening, V-shaped wall of black granite, engraved with the names of the missing, the captured as well as the dead-totaling to 58,000 names. This memorial suggests a modern entrance to an old burial mound even though it lacks entrance. Thus, the extremely polished surface serves as a mirror providing a reflection of the nearby trees, Washington Memorial as well as the visitors passing by.
As they enter along the walkway from either side, visitors are not aware at first of the low wall at their feet. The monument starts, unnoticed just as the war itself did; a few support troops sent to a distant and small country, a few deaths in the nightly news. As visitors descend along the downward-sloping path, the wall becomes taller and taller, towering overhead, and so do the names increase. People oftenly reach out and touch the letters, touching their own reflections. A corner turns at the lowest point of the walkway, with the wall at its highest. The path climbs upwards, and the wall falls away. Drawn from both the Washington Memorial and Lincoln Memorial, visitors leave the war behind.
The place that Maya Lin built, in a quiet, modest way, promotes a type of a ritual, a journey downward into a valley of death, then upward toward hope, reconciliation and healing. This place just like Stonehenge, serves to bring a community together. Read More
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