Recently, at https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/01/16/susan-sontag-against-interpretation-content/ I was drawn to ideas of Susan Sontag. Her writing lent credence to an observation I've had for sometime - the expectation (from academia perhaps?) for an articulated interpretation, often termed "content". Encountering this expectation repeatedly, and contemplating it, I've grappled with my resistance to it. My own motivation to make art is not compelled by a preconceived concept. To the contrary, it is almost always a particular angle or juxtaposition of form that captures me. To me, it seems inauthentic to pin a layer of verbosity on top of a visual experience. Now, I choose to accept my perception that visual art stands on its own without the need for articulation. When reading Susan Sontag, it was gratifying to discover I am not alone.
Susan Sontag's words were, "What is needed, first, is more attention to form in art. If excessive stress on content provokes the arrogance of interpretation, more extended and more thorough descriptions of form would silence. What is needed is a vocabulary — a descriptive, rather than prescriptive, vocabulary — for forms... Our task is not to find the maximum amount of content in a work of art, much less to squeeze more content out of the work than is already there. Our task is to cut back content so that we can see the thing at all...The aim of all commentary on art now should be to make works of art — and, by analogy, our own experience — more, rather than less, real to us. The function of criticism should be to show how it is what it is, even that it is what it is, rather than to show what it means."