Students: Anel Tulegenova | Lydia Aveson
At the origins of the philosophical thinking, Logos and Eros were not conflicting, they complemented each other instead, assisting the philosopher in his search for truth.
According to Socrates and his pupil Plato, logos provides one way to reach the metaphysical truth (an electively negative philosophical way, though, which states what truth “is not”). The other way is falling in love with beauty – of a body, of an artwork, of an idea –, which acts on the positive side: Eros is not love for beauty, it is love for generating in beauty (Plato, Symp., 206e-207a).
Eros is therefore the daimon of artists.
In Plato’s Symposion, Socrates states that all artists (in ancient Greek, poietai) are intermediaries between the gods and us, the same way as the daimon Eros is the great intermediary: Eros who inspires love, the divine feeling, in us.
Like Eros, artists are poor creatures who feel in perpetual need and spend life in search for something that will be always missing. But, much like Eros, artists are skilled and inspired to enchant us through their creations (poiemata). Poietai fly back and forth from the honey sources of the Muses, from their gardens and forests, where they find inspiration to do art, and their inspired art translates the metaphysical truth for us the public (Plato, Ion, 534a-b). Through this complementarity of Logos and Eros we have traveled this semesters with students in the Foundation Drawing course, Advanced Painting, Art Therapy, and Words, Painting and Emotion course.
Building up skills (logos) and leaving space to inspiration (eros), filling up sketchbooks with notes and exercises (logos) as well as jumping into the unknown of emotions and inspirations (eros).
Students in the Words, Painting and Emotion course explored their own relationship to art: both to the part of it that they were learning through study and practice, as well as to that subtle uncatchable element that could turn their use of skills into art. Through both guided and free painting students in the Art Therapy course have been experiencing art as a way to enjoy life and to help coping with difficult times: the quarantine has been for them an exceptional case study.
Advanced Painting students combined different painting styles and technical skills to convey a visual research about the psychology of love. And students in the Foundation Drawing course studied in depth the traditional genre of still life, ruled by ethic symbolisms and spiritual allegories, in order to twist it into narrating a contemporary story about love and its excitements, delusions, expectations, and betrayals. Through well thought out arrangements of everyday objects alluding to a “Breakfast for two”, students have been able to speak of love in the silent language of the most intellectual and logic of the art techniques: drawing.
Instructor: Nicoletta Salomon