What is “the human condition”? The Oxford Living Dictionary defines it as, “The state or condition of being human, especially regarded as being inherently problematic or flawed.” This definition goes back to the mid 16th century, found in John Alday as early as 1566-1579.
According to online sources, The human condition is “the characteristics, key events, and situations which compose the essentials of human existence, such as birth, growth, emotionalism, aspiration, conflict, and mortality. This is a very broad topic which has been and continues to be pondered and analyzed from many perspectives, including those of religion, philosophy, art, literature, anthropology, psychology, and biology. As a literary term, “the human condition” is typically used in the context of ambiguous subjects such as the meaning of life or moral concerns.”
It seems we humans are in a predicament, spawned from our inability to understand our state of “imperfection". Some philosophers posit that this arises from the premise of ,“good and evil”, in our nature. We humans are capable of horrific acts, such as murder, torture, rape, etc.. At times we are aggressive and selfish, while at other times we are cooperative, selfless, and loving. We struggle with this in-congruent state of being, which produces feelings of guilt within us. Our behavior goes beyond instinct, having psychological facets that involve our conscious, sentient minds. We are egocentric, deceitful, arrogant, jealous, mean, insincere, immoral, etc.. Our general imperfection is not driven by animal instinct; rather, it is derived from our conscious human minds. We are flawed beings, and it seems to bother us greatly.
Despite the negative aspects of our being, we also possess a moral conscience, imbued with a caring sense of unconditional altruism, and the capacity for kindness and love. The struggle we face creates a dilemma within us, often causing us to deny our human condition. It is something we often shy away from, as it is the root of so much misery in the world. Yet, it can also be the source of so much good. Our human condition is a state of imperfection.
The subject for this exhibitions theme is vast, giving the invited artists a very wide latitude in creating their expressions of the human condition. Each artist is asked to ponder and explore aspects of the theme that appeals to them, and challenge their sensibility. Exhibited works should focus upon the human figure within the context of the theme.
On View Through November 30th, 2018