Every visible form is capable of suggesting some deeper meaning to an audience at varying levels of meaning regardless of the intentions of the artist. This is because art is not perceived to be the static element it was once considered just as the audience is no longer thought to be merely passive observers. Instead, it is a constant interaction between the artist and the viewer, between what the artist created and how the viewer interprets based on his or her own experiences, understandings and context and how the ‘canvas’ interacts with the element of time and the various forms of media available today.
The postmodern movement, with its emphasis on illuminating the sublime, brought these ideas to the forefront leading eventually to today’s trend to engage more of the viewer’s senses in this interaction. Rather than simply paint on canvas or a marble sculpture, art today often involves a number of different elements including some consideration of the element of time and audience reaction/interaction. For this reason, it is often possible to walk into a museum of modern art and be confronted with scenes that confound the senses but do not necessarily conform to traditional general concepts of art. In the artwork of Rivane Neunschwander, for example, knowing the history of the artist or the art form and the creative process involved in making it can help to pave the way toward understanding or even participation. Once these elements of the work are understood, a greater appreciation for the work can be achieved and analysis can be more complete.