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Goethe's Three Questions

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Exploring Goethe's Three Questions

Goethe's Three Questions

  1. 1. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Conclusion Istheworkworthdoing? Howwellhastheartistdoneit? Whatistheartisttryingtodo? It’s easier to talk about a football game than about a painting. Introduction So you saw a play or movie, and it ended. Your friend who saw a different movie/play asked you how it was. “It was good”. What does it mean when you say “It was good”, or “I didn’t like it”? Nothing.
  2. 2. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Conclusion Istheworkworthdoing? Howwellhastheartistdoneit? Whatistheartisttryingtodo? It’s easier to talk about a football game than about a painting. Introduction You are talking about feelings that you experienced while experiencing something which can never be experienced the same way again. It’s easier to talk about a football game and have everyone else understand you than to talk about a painting or a piece of theatre? Why?
  3. 3. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Conclusion Istheworkworthdoing? Howwellhastheartistdoneit? Whatistheartisttryingtodo? It’s easier to talk about a football game than about a painting. Introduction A TON of reasons When we see a football game, we know why we’re doing it. We know what the people on the field are doing. The Titans want to win (though they don’t always play like it), and we know what winning looks like. We know what every step of them winning looks like.
  4. 4. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Conclusion Istheworkworthdoing? Howwellhastheartistdoneit? Whatistheartisttryingtodo? It’s easier to talk about a football game than about a painting. Introduction And sometimes they can fool us, but when we talk about the game afterwards, we rarely talk about just feelings, or just emotions. We talk about the blunders to successes that OUR team did to either win or lose. That clarity is what Goethe has brought to plays (and all art).
  5. 5. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Conclusion Istheworkworthdoing? Howwellhastheartistdoneit? What is the artist trying to do? No artist creates work just to create it. If they do, then they should never share it. Art is made to be shown, and art is created for a purpose, even if that purpose is to subvert your notion of art. Every creation is made for a purpose, and sometimes that purpose is easy to divine, and sometimes it takes time. Whatistheartisttryingtodo?
  6. 6. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Conclusion Istheworkworthdoing? Howwellhastheartistdoneit? What is the artist trying to do? When you talk of the purpose of art, you’re not talking about the amount of guys the alien ate, or how long the first act was, or what the jokes were, or whether or not the two characters get married at the end. All of those things are how the artist accomplished it, not what the artist was trying to do. What the artist was trying to do is the whole imputus behind making the piece. The artist was trying to show the triviality of war, the artist was trying to demonstrate the importance of donating blood. Whatistheartisttryingtodo?
  7. 7. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Conclusion Istheworkworthdoing? Howwellhastheartistdoneit? What is the artist trying to do? Whatistheartisttryingtodo? Win the war. Is one way to say it, but it needs to be through something. It needs to be given a how. Win the war through getting women in the workplace. OR Get women to win the war by working a man’s job.
  8. 8. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Conclusion Istheworkworthdoing? Howwellhastheartistdoneit? What is the artist trying to do? Whatistheartisttryingtodo? This has the same goal, but nothing about this image is the same as the last.
  9. 9. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Conclusion Istheworkworthdoing? Howwellhastheartistdoneit? What is the artist trying to do? Whatistheartisttryingtodo? This shows the personality of the artist.
  10. 10. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Conclusion Istheworkworthdoing? Howwellhastheartistdoneit? What is the artist trying to do? Whatistheartisttryingtodo? They can accomplish the same goals in dramatically different ways.
  11. 11. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Conclusion Istheworkworthdoing? Whatistheartisttryingtodo? How well has the artist done it? Howwellhastheartistdoneit?
  12. 12. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Conclusion Istheworkworthdoing? Whatistheartisttryingtodo? How well has the artist done it? Howwellhastheartistdoneit? This is when we get to interpret the artists’ message for effectiveness and bias. If we were talking about a football game, we would say that the Titans were trying to win. They didn’t do it very well, because the linebackers allowed the quarterback to get sacked in the end of the first quarter, and the kickoff return at the second half had the returner tackled in the end zone. ß
  13. 13. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Conclusion Istheworkworthdoing? Whatistheartisttryingtodo? How well has the artist done it? Howwellhastheartistdoneit? If you look at the Russian poster (at top), we don’t see a woman working, we see a woman trying to be a man and replace a man in the workplace. Women aren’t rising up to a new role, they are replacing a cog that was missing, and there is a sense that after war, men will come back and resume their roll.
  14. 14. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Conclusion Istheworkworthdoing? Whatistheartisttryingtodo? How well has the artist done it? Howwellhastheartistdoneit? If you look at the American poster (at the bottom), we see a women calling to her other fellow women to rise up. Women are asked to show their hidden power (which they’ve had all along) and there is a sense that you can’t unhide that power. This woman is becoming another kind of woman, not a woman pretending to be a man.
  15. 15. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Conclusion Howwellhastheartistdoneit? Whatistheartisttryingtodo? Is the work worth doing? Istheworkworthdoing? This is the last question, and where your opinions can really come through. You have interpreted what the artist was trying to accomplish, and you have judged how well the artist had done it (and some of the implications for the way that they did it).
  16. 16. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Conclusion Howwellhastheartistdoneit? Whatistheartisttryingtodo? Is the work worth doing? Istheworkworthdoing? Now, after you answered the first two questions, you can talk about if the work was really worth doing. This is deeper than “I liked it”, “I didn’t like it”, and it is also a lot more final. This is, “This poster shouldn’t have been made.” “The Titans shouldn’t have played today.” “This play is why I woke up in the morning” “This movie said everything about drug addiction that I always wanted to say”.
  17. 17. Goethe’s Formula for Play Analysis Istheworkworthdoing? Howwellhastheartistdoneit? Whatistheartisttryingtodo? Conclusion Conclusion Now while this may seem like a lot, this was only just the beginning! This is how we need to talk about the art we see (and the play analysis which are due in a couple of weeks..), but also this is an objective way to talk about the art around us. This takes art away from people who talk about ‘their feelings’, and gives it back to people who want to talk about what they observe and what they know. Part of the reason why art fails, is because there is a culture where people don’t know how to talk about it.

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