I do not know how this happened; but suddenly, in the midst of reading about Yoko Ono, I remembered something I have read years ago in the The Birth of Tragedy. It has to do with art and life.
Edvard Munch, Friedrich Nietzsche (1906)
For Nietzsche, art is not just a form of human activity but is rather the highest expression of the human spirit.
… it is only as an aesthetic phenomenon that existence and the world are eternally justified.
Nietzsche criticizes his own age (though his words apply equally to the present day) for being overly rationalistic, for assuming that it is best to treat existence and the world primarily as objects of knowledge. For Nietzsche, this stance makes life meaningless because knowledge and rationality in themselves do nothing to justify existence and the world. Life finds meaning, according to Nietzsche, only through art. Art, music, and tragedy in particular bring us to a deeper level of experience than philosophy and rationality. Existence and the world become meaningful not as objects of knowledge but as artistic experiences. According to Nietzsche, art does not find a role in the larger context of life, but rather life takes on meaning and significance only as it is expressed in art.
But even if art as a way of living is a concern for Ono, I still feel I have taken on a strange challenge reading Ono in light of Nietzsche. They surely present themselves as a mismatched pair!
– Maybe an interesting idea, maybe not …