On the BBC, there is a great series of Art documentaries entitled ‘Imagine’. Alan Yentob, a Television Executive, presents them and in the most recent, as of 18th Nov 2009, Yentob interviews and discusses the work of Anish Kapoor. People will recognise his sculptures without necessarily remembering his name, perhaps the height of fame for an artist. Having recently finished reading Givens’ ‘A People of Paradox’ I have been considering the relationship between Art and Spirituality and during this documentary Kapoor made some interesting comments which resonated with me.
Of his work, Kapoor says, ‘Just as you can’t set out to make something beautiful, you can’t set out to make something spiritual. What you can do is recognise that it may be there. It normally has something to do with not having too much to say. There seems to be space for the viewer, and is sometimes something we identify as being spiritual. And it is all about space.’
Kapoor is concerned with the community that art can generate. In fact the size of his later sculptures suggest a desire to encourage this shared experience. Think of Chicago’s ‘magic bean’. Or my favourite ‘The Farm’ in New Zealand. In my mind this something remarkably similar to what is ‘spiritual’ for me. It is in the sharing and simultaneous experience of love, spirit and honesty that binds people to another and to God.
Speaking about Kapoor’s work, Homi Bhabha has said that ‘you are always on the edge between what you know and what you don’t know’. Interestingly Kapoor believes his work captures something similar. He says that ‘making work is about daring to go where I don’t know and hoping that in going to where I don’t know, you, the viewer, can go somewhere you don’t know either’.