Escaping Narrow-Mindedness: A Tribute to Art

Labyrinth of Lies, artwork: Sven Sauer.

A small mind always remains trapped in its subjective views. Trapped in a world that it believes to be reality. It relies on its own personal experiences and opinions. But paradoxically, one’s own opinion is often merely an eager repetition of seemingly good opinions of seemingly good people. The fewest of them actually defend their own viewpoint. Not to mention that they rarely critically assess said viewpoint or perhaps admit an error in reasoning.

“The thinking man changes his opinion,” Friedrich Nietzsche said.

But this occurs extremely rarely, in fact. Instead, someone’s own thinking is continuously confirmed and reinforced by others with similar thoughts.

But what happens when someone finds that these subjective views on life are not enough? How can one escape from his own narrow-mindedness? Our spirit exists, after all, only in one body, not in several.


Urban Nation Museum, artwork: Herakut


Art provides the opportunity to escape from our intrinsic narrow-mindedness. It is one of the symbols of civilization, intellectuality, and of cultivation. Without it, we wouldn’t be more than an octopus—a highly intelligent being, perhaps, but nevertheless, one that is entirely at the mercy of its own instincts.

Man can be so much more.

He creates, he builds, he is a visionary. There is creativity, imagination, drive. The arts are a world of endless possibilities. Imagination turns into art, and art is the creativity that becomes material. This is perhaps one of mankind’s greatest achievements.

The source of artistic creation is often emotions, such as pain, love, fear, euphoria, and hatred. It is the ability to think outside the box and the inability to tolerate small minds. People with emotions as deep as oceans often have a talent for the arts—an outlet for vibrant souls existing in a crude world.


Monalisa, recreated by Die Dixons, Tank, Weisse Seite, and FIX77


On the other hand, people who feel little are profoundly impressed by even the smallest emotions. Virtually shaken, even. Whichever does not concern the body, made of flesh and blood, is an unfamiliar sensation. Perhaps it is especially these people who should take a closer look at the arts.

Ignoring art means ignoring the opportunity to see life through the eyes of another. It is then easy to believe that one’s own experiences are the only true ones.

However, there are so many truths, such diverging realities. After all, the truth of one is also the lie of another.

In novels and poems, anyone and everyone can step into the shoes of a queen, of a persecuted man, of a beggar and of a dying person. Even the most extreme or extraordinary event someone has already experienced at some point and expressed it through creativity. Paintings, music pieces, dances: They all tell a story.


Halle Am Berghain, exhibition “Workers”


They allow us to enter the hearts and minds of anyone. Someone who may be our neighbor or someone who hasn’t been around in hundreds of years. And it becomes clear that minds can connect beyond the boundaries of space and time.

Our horizon widens without us ever needing to leave the couch. This is a gift to those who are bedridden due to illness or disease. It is a comfort to all those who are surrounded by primitive minds who only lust for physical satisfaction. A fictional character becomes a close friend. This character may become more real than any real person.

Some may actually still believe that they must be truly the first person to feel a certain way—while others have known for a long time about the infinite spectrum and depth of emotions. And it is the former who are at the same time convinced that if they perceive life a certain way, all others must be experiencing it the same way. And the others will sit back humbly and be in awe, for they have known for a long time that there is no one true reality.

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Text: Marie F. Trankovits, photos: Frank R. Schröder/iHeartBerlin

Marie F. Trankovits moved around the world until she fell in love with Berlin. Currently working on her writing career.

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