|PETERSON-HARKIN, A., 2006. What value can be attached to a concept of mystery and has it a place in contemporary Western culture? Unpublished Thesis (Master of Arts in the History of Art and Design), Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology.
|The idea for this thesis arose from a chain of reactions first set in motion by a
particular experience. In keeping with the contemporary need to deconstruct every
phenomenon it seemed important to analyse this experience in the hope of a
satisfactory explanation. The experience referred to is the aesthetic experience
provoked by works of art. The plan for the thesis involved trying to establish
whether the aesthetic experience is unique and individual, or whether it is one that
is experienced universally. Each question that arises in the course of this
exploration promotes a dialectical reaction. I rely on the history of aesthetics as a
philosophical discipline to supply the answers. This study concentrates on the
efforts by philosophers and critical theorists to understand the tensions between
the empirical and the emotional, the individual and the universal responses to the
sociological, political and material conditions that prevail and are expressed
through the medium of art. What I found is that the history of aesthetics is full of
contradictory evidence and cannot provide a dogmatic solution to the questions
posed. In fact what is indicated is that the mystery that attaches to the aesthetic
experience is one that can also apply to the spiritual or transcendent experience.
The aim of this thesis is to support the contribution of visual art in the spiritual
well being of human development and supports the uniqueness of the evaluation
and aesthetic judgement by the individual of a work of art. I suggest that mystery
will continue to be of value in the holistic development of human beings and this
mystery can be expressed through visual art. Furthermore, this thesis might
suggest that what could be looked at is whether a work of art may be redemptive
in its affect and offset the current decline in affective religious practice.
|What value can be attached to a concept of mystery and has it a place in contemporary Western culture?
|Master thesis (taught)
|Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
|Centre for the Creative Arts & Media - GMIT