donderdag 29 januari 2015

ARTticle 'Art and Culture' *


It seems there is a connection between culture and art. Often these two words are used together. But what’s the meaning of ‘culture’?

The word ‘culture’ has its origins in the Latin word ‘colere’, meaning ‘plowing the soil’. That still is one of the meanings or ‘culture’. You know ‘agriculture’ and ‘cultivated soil’. Also the product of the cultivation is ‘a culture’, varying from micro-organisms to roses. The culture of roses is about growing a certain type of rose. The distinguished characteristics of that rose are developed, improved.

This is leading us to the other meaning of ‘a culture’. Now it isn’t about flowers, but people. In ‘a culture’ they develop distinguished characteristics. The people in a group all have a certain behaviour. They develop the same values, tradition, rituals, a lifestyle. And this leads to a style of building, clothes, food, music, etcetera.

Now we arrived at the meaning of ‘culture’. Cultural expression: everything characterising humans, or a group of humans, a sub-culture. In fact that is everything except nature. It can be architecture, fashion (clothing), food, music, fine arts, theatre, etiquette, traditions, and many more.
By mentioning ‘art and culture’ in the same breath the aspect of ‘art’ is widened to ‘all art’. But the aspect of ‘culture’ is narrowed to only that part having to do with art.


So at one side ‘culture’ is something that makes groups of people differ from each other, at the other side it’s about what they have in common. It can be restriction, or development. 

a product of culture: a rose 

*Voortaan staat de Nederlandse tekst op een aparte pagina 'Nederlands (Dutch)'.