Day 9 – Art versus Entertainment

What is art? What is entertainment? Are they strictly separate things, or can they sometimes intersect and overlap? Is there an existential truth at issue here, or is it all dependent on who is experiencing that which the established parties deem to be “art” and “entertainment”? Do some things perhaps not fit into either of these categories, thus requiring a third category yet unnamed?

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(This post is part of the 30 for 30 Challenge).

The title of this post brings up very difficult questions each time I try to think about these two words : ART and ENTERTAINMENT.  The gulf between them is at first glance seemingly vast, but is it?

What is art?  What is entertainment?  Are they strictly separate things, or can they sometimes intersect and overlap?  Is there an existential truth at issue here, or is it all dependent on who is experiencing that which the established parties deem to be “art” and “entertainment”? Do some things perhaps not fit into either of these categories, thus requiring a third category yet unnamed?

As you can see, I have more questions than answers.

Art is ART, and entertainment is ENTERTAINMENT, and never the two shall meet.  That seems to be a prevailing idea from many people.  Depending on who you ask in either of these opposing camps, art is something “highbrow and elitist”, while entertainment is “fun and accessible.”, while on the other hand, art “transforms the soul and inspires awe”, while entertainment “has its place, but is ultimately of less value to society”.

One author explains it in a different way, saying:

Simply put, when aesthetic purpose precedes exposure and sales, art plays the upper hand. When reversed, it’s about entertainment…The point is not the amount of money or labor that is invested, it’s the nature of the engagement by both artist and audience. (Bill Lasarow – The Huffington Post 2011)

I had an experience this evening that brought many of these questions back to the forefront of my mind, and thus the inspiration for this post. Continue reading “Day 9 – Art versus Entertainment”