Art with intent
Art (movies, plays, fiction, paintings, poetry…) exists to create a change. Often, that’s a change in the viewer, and sometimes, powerful art changes the culture.
Art with no intent can entertain us, and it can also reinforce stereotypes and simply help what is in our world persist.
Art with selfish intent exists to manipulate the viewer to serve the needs of the artist. It doesn’t often spread, but when it does, it can have a corrosive effect on the world around us.
But art with generous intent is different. It might not address an issue the way you would (in fact, that’s precisely why we need it) and it creates tension as it helps us look at things in a new way.
The plays of Sarah Jones, or a book by Sinclair Lewis or music by Charles Wilson or a movie by Amy Koppelman exist to make us think hard. To think about what we’ve taken for granted and to think about what might be different if we cared enough.
I’m not sure it even matters what the artist thought they wanted when they sat down to create the work. The art itself seems to want something, to make a change in the world. And the ability to create art like that belongs to each of us.