Kant argues that “art can be tasteful (that is, agree with [artistic] judgment) and yet be 'soulless'” –But what is it exactly, that can give an often motionless object like art “soul?” What the hell is soul, any-how?
I wasn’t thinking about Kant as I pulled the beautiful fabric donated to us by Material for the Arts by way of Bronx Museum out of the Artist Craftman’s Supply Bag. An array of tulle, and bouquets of flower patterned cotton spread across the table alongside stings of leather and copper to tie them together later. We began making bows, and slowly, a tribe of toddlers approached us, escorting their mothers to the cornucopia. Our activity that Sunday, we explained, was making costumes for us to wear in the parade.
Parents soon joined and created costumes of their own, one mother grabbed a piece of white tulle and made a head wrap for herself. She smiled pleased, seemingly, with the way it turned out. Her daughter collected pieces of the long lace she hoped to fashion into a dress with grown up help. Elizabeth Ortiz scooped up and wrapped and tied until something out of a fashion show cat walk appeared before us.
On the other side of the table and makeshift wall, Trevon Blondet asked Boogie Bronxites, what was their art and Yolanda Rodriguez, collected little gems in jars as they answered who did art at home. Holding a tablet in hand, they told us what their art was as the cameras flashed.
No one was thinking about soul under the heat of a Bronx afternoon sun, not really, and yet there it stood before us. It was found in the way we shared our gifts with each other. We’ve become so accustomed to thinking of art in binaries, much like we view the world. Things are either: good or bad, high or low, right or wrong. We very infrequently allow ourselves to exist in ambiguity or as I like to think of it, imagination, the place of possibilities. This Sunday let us live there for a while, and it was Artful, and more importantly, it was soulful.
Bringing Art to Every Household.