Intentionalism and the Arts

                                       Intentist Arts



(Taken from 'A Word On Intentist Art Practice' from the Intentist book'The Search for Intentist Art.' - See Web Store to purchase.)


Intentism is an international arts movement that believes that all meaning is the outworking of intention. ( Our members include painters, musicians, actors, poets and philosophers.
Although grounded in art theory, Intentism is primarily a practical arts movement. Since we argue that all art is intentionalist (the intention of the artist informs the viewer of the work’s meaning), we have often been asked how then does Intentist art differ from any other art?
Intentist artists work in numerous ways, but at present there appears to be three areas that are of particular interest:

1. Palimpsestism and The Creative Trail.

Firstly, during the course of creating a work, an artist will have multiple intentions, including a meta-intention of the overall work and many micro-intentions as the art progresses. This journey has become known as the creative trail and is included in many intentist works as the artist intentionally leaves a visible trace of earlier marks normally edited out. This layering is on occasion referred to as Palimpsestism. (See the Palimpsestism link on the drop-down menu for more details.)

An example of palimpsestic is Maria Beddoes’ works with glass.


2. Irony

Secondly, since authorial irony can only be understood by comparing what is said (the work), and what is meant (author intent), it is a common subject for Intentist artists. An example here would be Luciano Pelosi’s Big Breakfast.


3. Anarrative Art

Finally, much art theory regarding the Death of the Artist finds it origin in literary theory. It is a claim of the Intentists that in certain fundamental areas this cross over is not valid. From Heidegger to Gadamer to Ricoeur, a basis for the hermeneutical theory of a fusion of horizons is the relations between our narrative and the work’s narrative. This argument was intended for texts where the author has a linear order expectation for the text since the viewer will normally start at the beginning and read letters sequentially until the end. However, this approach is not valid for the static arts. Most paintings and sculptures are anarrative as viewers can approach the work in multiple orders. Therefore, this basis for ignoring the artist’s intentions is no longer valid. An example in this book of an Intentist artist creating work to demonstrate anarrative is Govinda Sah.