|Fountain, Duchamp, 1917|
Tate Modern's collection & image
A new study by Dutch scientists explores this emotional connection to viewing art versus everyday life, and the finding correlates with Kant's theory. Quoted from the lead researcher Noah van Dongen (Erasmus University, Rotterdam):
“This work suggests that when we expect to be dealing with an artwork, our brain responds differently than when we expect to be dealing with reality. When we think we are not dealing with reality, our emotional response appears to be subdued on a neural level. This may be because of a tendency to ‘distance’ ourselves from the image, to be able to appreciate or scrutinize its shapes, colours, and composition instead of just its content. We know that our brains may have evolved with ‘hard-wired’ mechanisms that allow us to adjust our response to objects depending on the situation. What this work indicates, is that Kant’s two century old theory of aesthetics*, where he proposed that we need to emotionally distance ourselves from the artwork in order to be able to properly appreciate it, might have a neurological basis and that art could [be] useful in our quest to understand our brain, emotions, and maybe our cognition.”Yay, art could be useful!
(laughing out loud to myself)
Here's the link to the article I read on Science Daily's site: