In the business of theology it is hard not to be controversial - Jurgen Moltmann

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Playing a Part in the Collective Project ... Anonymously

Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts ..... it is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God. He lived and died without being more or less important than any other artisans; 'eternal values', 'immortality' and 'masterpiece' were terms not applicable in his case. The ability to create was a gift. In such a world flourished invaluable assurance and natural humility.

Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation. The smallest wound or pain of the ego is examined under a microscope as if it were of eternal importance. The artist considers his isolation, his subjectivity, his individualism almost holy. .....

... if I am asked what I would like the general purpose of my films to be, I would reply that I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plane [who anonymously rebuilt the destroyed structure]. I want to make a dragon's head, an angel, a devil — or perhaps a saint — out of stone. It does not matter which; it is the sense of satisfaction that counts. Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral.

Ingmar Bergman (1969)
'Introduction' to The Seventh Seal (1957). (my emphasis)
【thanks to Jolyon Mitchell for bringing this quote to my attention】

No comments: