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Jordan Peterson on art
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Jordan Peterson on art

After a year of being asked what my play was about, I found this excerpt from a Jordan Peterson interview particularly refreshing (from 50:37 to 51:40):

Transcript:

The artist shouldn’t be able exactly to say what he or she is doing. If you can say what you’re doing, you’re not producing art. Art is … well, you can say, art bears the same relation to culture that the dream does to mental stability. Your dream doesn’t say what it’s about, it just is. You can interpret it, and that’s helpful sometimes, just like movie criticism is helpful, but the dream is something that extends you beyond where you already are. That’s why it isn’t verbal thought, it’s something else. It’s like a pseudopod that’s going out into the unknown. That’s what art is. And the artist who subsumes the artistic vision to the ideological framework is putting the cart before the horse. It’s actually a sin, I would say, it’s the ultimate of creative sins to do that, because you’re harnessing the greater to the lesser. It’s like, yeah, you understand things, and you tell a story about what you understand. No, no, you tell a story about what you don’t understand. And then you pull everyone into the story. The story’s an exploration in that way.