So what is art, Katjavivi explains…

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“Art is in the music you hear on the radio when commuting to work, is in the food you eat when out at your favourite spot, is in the clothes you put on, is in the movies you watch, is in the posters or billboards you see, is in the words you read,” Aesthete and Cultural Officer at the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC), Isabel Katjavivi, tells Time Out’s Sabina Elago.

Katjavivi says there may not always be a message or significant realisation in art, but she believes all art has a purpose, message or context in which its purpose was made and to extract that message one needs to know the context from which it was created. Knowing the personal background of the artist, and having personal outward views on society can also help when trying to explain an artwork. All art is created to evoke something in the viewer, whether it was thought provoking, or enjoyment, or a commentary, she says. “Being able to explain an artwork takes experience and knowledge for the arts. These are the formal sets of keys that enable a person to explain an artwork and the informal keys, which are usually overlooked,” explains Katjavivi. She adds that the beauty of art is that there is nothing hidden in because art is out there for all to read although not everything is obvious to everyone. “Science or mathematics may not be obvious to some, and it is the same with art.

What is necessary is the willingness and openness because art takes patience to enjoy and understand, and requires more patience for one to receive its message,” says Katjavivi.

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