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英语专业八级历年考试听力2007

Test for English majors 2007. Grade 8, Part 1, Listening Comprehension:

Section A Mini Lecture.

In this section, you will hear a mini lecture. You will hear the lecture once only. While listening, take notes on the important points. Your notes will not be marked but you will need them to complete a gap-filling text after the mini lecture. When the lecture is over, you will be given 2 minutes to check your notes, and in another 10 minutes to complete the gap-filling text on the answer sheet 1. Use the blank sheet for note taking. Now listen to the mini lecture.

Good morning, today's lecture is the very first of a series of lectures on the art history. So I would like to spend some time discussing with you the following topic:

Why do we need to study art history and what can we learn from it?

First of all, I'd say if you study art history it might be a good way to learn more about a culture than is possible to learn in general history classes. You know most typical history courses concentrate on politics, economics and war, but art history focuses on much more than this. Because art reflects not only the political values of people but also their religious beliefs, emotions etc., in addition, information about the daily activities of our ancestors can be provided by art, like what people did for a living, what kind of dress they wore, what ceremonies they held, etc. In short, art can express the essential qualities of a time and a place and the study of it clearly offers us a deeper understanding than can be found in most history books and enable us to learn more things about human society and civilization. The second point I would like to make is about the type of information. In history books information is objective, that is, facts about the political economic life of a country are given, but opinions are not expressed. Art on the other hand is subjective. It reflects personal emotions and opinions. For example, Foancisco Goya, was a great Spanish painter and also perhaps the first truly political artist. In his famous painting, the third of May 1808, he showed soldiers shooting a group of simple people. His description of soldiers and their victims has become a symbol of the enormous power or misuse of this power that a government can have over its people. Over a hundred years later on another continent the powerful paintings of Mexican artists depicted their deep anger and sadness about social problems. In summary, through art you can find a personal and emotional view of history. Thirdly, art can reflect a culture's religious beliefs. For hundreds of years in Europe, religious art was almost the only type of art that existed. Churches and other religious buildings were filled with paintings that showed people and stories from the bible. By contrast one of the maim characteristics of art in the middle east was and still is its absence of human and animal images, This reflects the Islamic belief that these images are unholy. Thus, on palaces, mosques and other buildings Islamic artists have created unique decoration of great beauty with images of flowers and geometic forms, for example, circles, squares and triangle. The same is true of other places like Africa and the Pacific islands. Art also reflects the religious beliefs of traditional cultures in these places. As a matter of fact, religion is the purpose of this art and therefore is absolutely essential to it. Traditional art in Africa and the Pacific islands is different form Christian art. Christian art influences people’s feelings towards God, but the goal of art in Africa and the Pacific islands is to influence spiritual powers, that is gods, to enter people’s lives. Each tribe or village their have special ceremonies with songs and dances to make sure that crops, animals and people are healthy and increase in number. The dances in these ceremonies wear masks, head dressers and costumes that they believe are necessary to influence the god. These masks and head dressers themselves are a very part of the art. As we have said art depends on culture. Different forms of art result from different cultures. Similarly the way people view art also depends on their culture background. This is my fourth point. For most Europeans and Americans art is mainly for decoration. It is something on a museum wall or in a glass case. It makes their homes more attractive. People look at it and admire it: "Oh, what a beautiful painting!" Besides, ideas are often expressed in this art. This is a wonderful statue, and admirer would say: "It makes such an anti war statement " But in other places art is not considered to separate from every existence. It has a function. It has a practical role to play in people’s lives. A person in a tribal society might look at a mask and say, "Oh, this is a god mask. It will keep my house safe." In brief, the way in which people enjoy or appreciate art depends on their culture. To conclude my lecture we can say that art is a reflection of various cultures. But at the same time we have to remember that art also reflects the changes in society that take place when different cultures influence one another. As people from different tribal societies move to urban areas, their values and beliefs change accordingly, and the traditional art forms begin to lose their function. At the same time urban artists begin to learn a lot from traditional art. For example, African masks and figures had a great influence on Picasso's works and many American and Canadian artists studied the simplicity of Japanese painting. The result is that as the world gets smaller the art of each culture becomes more international. Ok, this brings us to the end of our lecture. I hope that after today's lecture you will understand better the significance of a study of art history. Art enables us to know more about human history, for example, people’s views and opinions about certain historical events and what is more important about different culture, their religious beliefs, perception of art, etc.
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