Apparently, a cleaner at Tate Britain... threw out a bag of rubbish, accidentally we are told, that was part of an exhibition supposedly emphasizing 'the finite existence of art'... The cleaner evidently had no time to question the relationship of his or her being to the rubbish bag, and reached the right conclusion.

— Semir Zeki

The most memorable Semir Zeki quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual

Perhaps there is a minimum distance that should separate one exhibit from another... Indeed those specialized in psychophysics have actually come up with some rules.

6

When politicians deny anything fiercely, there is a good chance that it will happen.

5

Any artistic achievement that is tailored to conform to social demands rather than to the real, uninhibited, feelings of its creator, is destined not to reach the heights of achievement, or even fail. It is only when an artist is dis-inhibited that he or she can reach the heights of artistic achievement.

4

In the fight between biology and morality, biology has commonly won in the end.

4

What is creative is the seeking of perfection - and not attaining it.

4

The Japanese, if I understand them, are masters of the unsaid and the unstated, of subtlety and ambiguity, all of which constitute powerful stimulants to the imagination.

4

I can really recommend a beautifully but sparsely furnished room with empty walls!

3

I always expect the worst from this evil and wicked world and am often pleasantly surprised when the worst does not come to pass, but never or rarely surprised or upset when it does.

3

Artists erase reality to a greater or lesser extent, and substitute their own reality - created by their brains, instead.

3

Laughter is very infectious, and why it should be so is a most interesting neurological problem. But it also has other, more physiological, benefits. Apparently it boosts the immune system, reduces stress hormones, massages the heart and diaphragm and engenders a 'feel good' factor.

3

Self-censorship, whether known or unknown, is an unwelcome brake on creativity;

it stifles self-expression and hence prevents a work from reaching the heights of great art.

1

I gather that the dopaminergic system in the reward centres of the brain respond even more vigorously to the expectation of reward than to reward itself. Hence, perhaps, the disappointment.

0

About Semir Zeki

Quotes 22 sayings
Profession Educator
Birthday 1940

Why does not the brain adapt to repeated exposure and become indifferent, instead of satisfied?

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The female brain may confer distinctive economic advantages, to the benefit of all, and we should, therefore, pursue seriously having equal numbers of women in topic economic and financial posts. If we persist in having unequal numbers, then we should advantage the women and have a smaller percentage of men.

0

As soon as your brain starts telling you that you can't have a tree that is blue then you stop being able to paint trees.

0

No one would want to pay a penny for an empty canvas by me.

But it would be quite another if the empty canvas were signed by a great artist. I would be surprised if an empty canvas by Picasso or Matisse signed and inscribed with the words, 'I wanted to paint such and such on this canvas, but did not do so,' would not fetch thousands... After all, with an empty canvas, the possibilities are limitless, and so perhaps is the cash.

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I have the strong suspicion that when the brain's greed system is in operation, those parts of the brain that regulate ethical conduct are de-activated. Perhaps the greater the amount of money to be made, the greater the deactivation of the system that regulates ethical behaviour.

0

I view all art as an effort to translate brain concepts into a work.

These brain concepts are synthetic ones - the result of many experiences. But a single work of art, or even a series of works, more often than not cannot translate these synthetic concepts adequately. Yves Saint Laurent once said that he suffered greatly when creating. He is not alone in that. Most artists do the same and say as much.

0

Most artists, or at least most of the ones I know, deny having a philosophical outlook that they try to translate into their works. Some had thought of the work of Cezanne and others as being a 'painted epistemology.' But Cezanne himself denied this and Daniel-Henri Kahnwiler, the art critic and art dealer, insisted that none of the many painters he had known had a philosophical culture.

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The reaction was immediate. The blood flow was in proportion to how much the painting was liked.

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Just let the artist sign an empty canvas or a frame, with the inscription, 'I had such and such a concept in mind' for this work. The artist then need not bother with producing the work, and therefore need not be worried about being dis-satisfied. All he or she needs to do is to sell it to a collector. The collector will have the guarantee that the artist thought about the work, even if momentarily, and therefore be satisfied.

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