Ricardo Ibarlucía

Why Do We Need Masterpieces?

This paper develops some thoughts on the status of so-called “masterpieces.” Its purpose is neither to offer a definition of them nor to elaborate on evaluation criteria in an attempt to establish some kind of canon. Its goal is rather to analyze the way masterpieces function, their modus operandi, their operational capacity. The first part of the exposition is addressed to clarifying the concept; then, using some examples, it portrays how we interact with them and the way in which they take part in the configuration of our lives, creating the world of meanings that we navigate daily. Lastly, it takes into account a couple of observations regarding instruments for the “activation” of masterpieces ...

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