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Keys

We need to examine what interpreting art work means. Art history, society, culture, popular culture, advertising and media (Chagall’s prints and postcards currently being in demand after one of his paintings was ‘product placed’ in High Grant’s and Julia Robert’s ‘Nothing Hill’), diverse ways of interpreting, depending from diverse, alternative and, sometimes, conflicting points of view (the starkest and most tragic case of this is the interpretation of religious art and architecture of Kosovo, which varies wildly depending on if the audience is Albanian or Serb). Contemporary Britain, (or should I say England?) is a multi-cultural society, now more than ever. Single interpretations of art are no longer possible, or desirable.

Maybe what needs doing is, more than just offering an interpretation, is to offer ‘keys’ for different possible interpretations of a particular work, or exhibition, a starting point of a process of discovery, engaging the audiences rather than telling them. The spectator becomes then a maker, a maker of his or her own interpretations and stories coming from a particular work, or exhibition, including possible readings, which may have not been in the artist’mind at the time of its making.