Tehching Hsieh responding to the national attention received by their collaborative performance in which he and fellow artist Linda Montano were tied to eachother by an 8 foot rope for a year.
Inner necessity originates from three elements: (1) Every artist, as a creator, has something in him which demands expression (this is the element of personality). (2) Every artist, as the child of his time, is impelled to express the spirit of his age (this is the element of style)—dictated by the period and particular country to which the artist belongs (it is doubtful how long the latter distinction will continue). (3) Every artist, as a servant of art, has to help the cause of art (this is the quintessence of art, which is constant in all ages and among all nationalities). -Wassily Kandinsky, The Doctrine of Internal Necessity
You should really try to find the whole (very short) essay, but the main argument being made as Kandinsky elaborates on the quote above is that the first two points are subjective and, over the arc of time, will decline in relevance while the third is objective and ever-present in all great works of art. The objectivity of the third element, Kandinsky argues, is derived from the “Internal Necessity” or the spiritual element that an artist is moved to express.
Or as he put it:
In short, the effect of internal necessity and the development of art is an ever advancing expression of the eternal and objective in terms of the historical and subjective. -Wassily Kandinsky, The Doctrine of Internal Necessity
I certainly see the validity in the point that is being made here, but I think that there is also a lot of relevance in the subjectivity of art work created by artists. If there is some universal spiritual imperative that an artist seeks to express, it seems to me that the artist’s unique method of communicating that imperative is what makes the ongoing practice of art making interesting and worthwhile.
“What can I say? I was in my early twenties, so I imagined my fixation on Homies would come off as a moderately hip eccentricity. Like, “He’s cool enough not to take himself too seriously.” Or, “He’s self-possessed enough to not care if anyone thinks that collecting arguably racist figurines is just, well, you know, kind of gay.” Something like that.”