Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Comedy And Tragedy
When I look at really good art that “speaks” to me (we do say language speaks, but it is in the language of feeling.) I feel a sense of striving. And sometimes it fails. I think the failure of the imagination…in other words, the knowledge that we can never pull ideas and thoughts out of a person’s head, that we can only interpret words, is where tragedy and comedy begin. Art has it’s roots in the imperfection of humanity, because my experience will never be completely understood. In my mind, art is one expression of that feeling, whether we mean comedy or tragedy. In my case, I have an overwhelming desire to improve my disability through comedy, and a need to express my…unique life experience, which separates me as an individual from the rest of the world through tragedy. The comedic and tragic media I see available to me are: Language, art, and spirit.
Language is of course part of what I seek to create. And you can say that since art deals with tragedy and comedy, art is near universal for a language. Ever since I watched my brothers play videogames, I knew that looking up at the screen my brothers were trying to get into the game somehow; or at least they somehow acted with the images on the screen like they could get into it. As far as films, I’ve found that laughter really is the best medicine. Sometimes as I watch a good comedy, I laugh and then forget about all my physical troubles. The same is true of Art (Done by Artists, capital A.) In each case, I feel that we are trying to get beyond myself in some way, because it either shows people as better than they are (the tragic hero) or worse (the comedian.) So, we relate to this. In other words, what’s universal about it is that it provides myths to follow, and a social bond that is a human need. The Art provides this need in the form of an understanding of the human condition, whether as better or worse than it truly is…
For example, in my life, I’ve met people who have called my disability tragic or tried to joke about it. Both these methods are ok, if they address my situation in a manner I would approve of. I.e. adding me to the human condition. The question is always how to communicate tragedy and comedy. And for that answer, I think you need to be able to play with words and images. Because words and images imply rules, and playing with them is extending my limits. After all: It has been said by communication theorists that language has us, we don’t have it. And the same is true of tragedy and comedy, which come from human experience. In this respect, it would be much better if I showed my life through using tragedy and comedy.
“Art is the highest metaphysical task of this life.” - Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy