Recently, I attended a church service where the speaker offered this as a qualification for art: it has to stand the test of time. Indeed, this is fairly conventional wisdom, but I propose that it is time to challenge that wisdom.

We still have “Flight of the Bumblebee.” We still have that painting of Dogs Playing Poker. Years from now will we be able to find the Greatest Hits of country super-group Alabama? Probably. Art? Not to my mind, but it depends on whom you ask.

What about works written for the now? It seems reasonable to me that a work reflecting a current situation could have powerful meaning in a specific moment, for a specific crowd, in a specific place. Then the same work could be meaningless in a different context. To say a work must “stand the test of time” is really to say it must have mass appeal to be art.

Since when has art had that?

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