Saturday, 12 March 2016


One of many
A masterpiece is still a masterpiece when the lights are out and the room is empty
I do not know where this oft-quoted saying comes from, but ten days ago Judit Szathmáry quoted it without qualification on her Facebook page:

This afternoon Norman took it up on his blog, expanded on it a little, and linked it to something that Schrëtt fir Schrëtt argued at the end of last month in its battle to save CE from its Government's attempt to drag services for disabled children back into to the Medical Age –
For us it is clear: if we have a complete and efficient system for the needs of severely disabled children, why should one wish to reduce it to its motor aspect alone, which will no longer know how to function if one leaves aside the whole pedagogic part that opens the brain to learning and to forging new mechanisms to control the child's body? What will happen to all the educational component, the school learning, which is so important to us?
How often do we hear or read of provision for the motor-disabled child in terms of the physical and not the mind? How often do we read accounts of conductive education that focus on the motor aspect, as if conductive education were an alternative form of therapy, one among others, rather than on its pedagogic essence?

Judit quotes an attractive little aphorism. But I heartily disagree with it. If it speaks of a visual image, all that exists in that dark, empty room, is so much paint or stone. And if the piece of art is expressed in a different modality – say as a play, such as Hamlet – it is a work of art, even perhaps a masterpiece, only when it is being performed for an audience. Reduced below that level, it is  just words and sounds.

I suppose that a further dimension to this may comes from conscious memory, when a work of visual art flashes on that inward eye, or one recalls a poem, or 'hears' a haunting idée fixe from some fantastic symphony – but that does not seem to be what is being referred to in the quotation that opens this posting.

I hope that my awkwardly stated position would have been recognisable and acceptable to L. S. Vygotskii, Sergei Eizenshtein and chums

As Norman points out in in his posting, Buddhists might also go along with the gist of my view too.

Meaning, sense, mind, our societies and our very consciousneses, these are surely phenomena of a material world, socially and historically created as within all our ontogenies.

(And if you would like to relate this to activity theory, then tools are simply material objects – till they are used within a practical activity to achieve a purpose, and conveys their implicit meanings inward to the developing mind and onward to minds yet to be born.)

With Franz Schaffhauser so suddenly out of the immediate picture, will the field find others with a formal philosophical background to help towards clarifying the many conceptual questions, formal and informal, that remain to be addressed within Conductive Education?


Perrin, N. (2016) Conductive Ssrendipity – or Why Conductive Education is more than the physical, CE Jottings, 12 March

Labels: , , ,


Anonymous Andrew Sutton said...

Thanks to Judit for kicking this off, and thanks to Norman for running with it.

I should add that my thoughts above are not addressed specifically to 'art', arbitrarily separated from the rest of human activity, however manifest.They include all human activity.

Nor towards the even more subjective sub-category of masterpiece.

Rather like that other red-herring, genius.

Sunday, 13 March 2016 at 10:44:00 GMT  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Rony Schencker has commented on Facebook:

Sunday, 13 March 2016 at 10:49:00 GMT  
Blogger Judit Szathmary said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Monday, 14 March 2016 at 15:27:00 GMT  
Blogger Judit Szathmary said...

My posting was about inner work. Not about an object of an artist which cannot be appreciated without an observer or a perceiver.
To me this quote meant that if you are an authentic master piece, whether you are a leader or a concert pianist, a pedagogue, or a composer your true innate qualities necessary to become that masterpiece are always present, they are imprinted, encoded in the inner essence of your Mind in your whole existence. Such authenticity is still a master piece when the lights are out, where there is no stage to perform on and there is no audience to perform to.
A true inner masterpiece is not just a show, a pretence a lie or a short performance for gain, attention or to manipulate…
When you are a leader you are a leader in every beat of your existence, even in those quiet moments you spend only with yourself.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016 at 06:27:00 GMT  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home