사실, 이 얘기는 짖꿋은 몇몇의 한량들의 술안주거리였고, 저는 이렇게 귀동량을 통해 들은 이야기를 전달하였습니다. 술자리를 파하고 집에 돌아와 생각에 잠겼습니다. 고등학교 일어선생인 동생과 제수씨에게 전화를 걸어 사실 확인작업에 들어 갔죠. 다년간 일본에서 생활하였기에 보다 많은 정보를 얻을 수 있을거라는 희망을 가지고 말입니다. 그러나, 결과는 그렇게 희망적이지 못하였습니다. 저같은 한량들 입에서나 나올 음담패설같은 이야기를 선생님들께서 어떻게 관심 가지셨겠습니까?
두분이 상의후에 내린 결론은 '전통 기모노 자체를 입을땐 속옷을 입지 않는것이 전통'이라고 합니다. 하지만, 유카타(목욕가운같은것-서민계급에서는 평상복으로 사용했슴)를 입을 때에는 구별하기 위해 속옷을 입었다' 그리고 '기모노 뒤의 매듭은 통칭 '오비[帶-띠]'라고 하는 것인데 매듭을 제대로 맺기 위해서는 형태를 고정시키는 보조용 천인 오비아게[帶揚げ]와 오비아게 안에 넣는 쿠션 같은 오비마쿠라[帶枕] 등의 보조 도구들이 필요한 허릿띠'라고 설명을 합니다. 한량들이 기대해 왔던 '침대'나 '쿠션' 또는 '이불자리'는 아니라고 하네요. 하지만, 아직도 궁금하여 인터넷 검색을 통해 '기모노'에 대한 더 많은 정보를 검색하여 보았습니다.
그렇군요, 유카타(목욕가운)은 에도시대를 거쳐 두가지 종류로 나뉘게 됩니다. 즉 목욕가운인 유카타와 평상복인 유카타입니다. 차이점은 속옷을 입느냐 아니냐에 따른 것이군요. 사실관계확인을 위해 다시 동생네에 전화를 걸어 보았습니다. 대답은 '요즘 일본인들은 명절이나 특별한 날에 '기모노'를 착용합니다만, 옛날과는 달리 기모노내에 속옷을 착용하는 것이 일반적'이라고 설명합니다.
기모노[着物]는 '입다'를 의미하는 기루[着る]와 모노[物]가 합성되어 생긴 말로 의복 전체를 가리키는 말이다. 그러나 서양 복식이 전해지면서 현재는 일본의 전통의상을 가리키는 말로 바뀌었다.
기모노는 고소데[小袖]라는 옷이 변화되면서 생겨 났다. 고소데는 헤이안[平安]시대에 오소데[大袖:소맷부리가 넓은 옛날의 예복] 밑에 입는 통소매[筒袖]의 속옷을 가리키는 말이었는데, 나중에 고소데를 겉옷으로 입기 시작하였고, 무로마치[室町]시대에는 그것을 길게 만들어 입기 시작한 것을 기모노라고 부르기 시작했다.
무로마치시대까지만 해도 기모노는 남녀구분이 없었으나 에도시대에 들어와서는 여성의 기모노가 화려해졌다. 여성들의 기모노는 유녀(遊女)들에 의해서 다양하고 화려한 형태로 변했다. 남자들의 기모노는 형태, 염색 등을 신분계급에 따라 엄격히 구분하여 입도록 하였다.
현대 기모노의 기본적인 형태는 소매가 길고 넓은 긴 길이의 옷을 오비[帶]를 둘러 묶은 형태이다. 기모노는 시대에 따라 변화되면서 아름답고 우아한 옷으로 손꼽힌다. 현대의 기모노는 우리의 한복과 마찬가지로 의식이나 행사 때 입는 옷으로 인식된다. 그러므로 때와 장소, 목적에 따라 옷감의 종류, 모양, 색깔, 입는 법이 다르며 종류 또한 매우 다양하다. [출처 : 두산대세계백과]
뭇남성들을 설레게 하는 동양의 매력적 전통복장에는 두가지가 있습니다. 하나는 중국청나라의 의상인 '치파오'이고 다른 하나는 동양의 매력 '기모노'입니다. 물론, 우아한 선의 미를 따지자면 우리나라의 '전통한복'을 따라올 복장이 없지요. 하지만, 몸매의 라인을 감추는 '전통한복'의 단아함과 고결함과는 달리 옆의 터진선이 매력인 중국의 '치파오'나 몸매를 드러나게하는 일본의 '기모노'는 음주가무를 즐겨하는 호색호한들의 가슴을 설레게 하기엔 손색이 없습니다.
앞으로 전통일식점에 가셨을때 친구분들께서 야릇한 미소를 품으며 입맛을 다시걸랑 위에 설명해 드린 일본의 복식에 대해 마음껏 자랑하시길 바랍니다. 그리고 혹자들에게 '왜 기모노를 입을 때 속옷을 입지 않는가?' '왜 등에 쿠션역할을 하는 허릿대를 차고 있는가?' 등 속설로 알려진 잘못된 부분에 대해서 친절하게 윗설명도 곁들여 주시면 술자리에서 보다 화기애애하며 건설적인 자리가 되지 않을까요? 기모노에 대한 궁금증을 우스개 소리로 설명하였습니다.
이글은 2008년 3월19일 13시35분에 등록된 글이며 재발행합니다.
조선일보의 가지언지 일요일판 옵서버 자료인용글에 흥미를 느끼고 원문을 검색해 보았습니다. 관심있으신 분은 영어공부 한번 하신다 생각하시고 읽어 보십시오. 잘 모르시는 내용은 댓글을 남겨 주시면 번역해 드리겠습니다. 감사합니다.
일반인들이 궁금해하는 예술에 대한 질문 5가지
'포르노와 에로틱 예술 사진의 차이는?' '위대한 예술은 고통 속에서만 탄생하나?'…. 예술에 관해 일반인들이 한번쯤 가졌을 법한 이들 질문에 대해, 영국 일간지 가디언의 일요일판 신문인 옵서버는 2일 각계 전문가들의 의견을 토대로 답을 제시했다.
◆포르노와 에로틱 사진의 차이=포르노는 보는 이의 욕망을 부추기지만, 에로틱 사진은 욕망의 표현이다. 누드(nude) 사진은 성욕을 자극하려고 벌거벗은(naked) 사진과는 다르다. 실제로 두 종류를 구분하기는 어렵지 않다.
◆트라이앵글 연주자의 연주비 책정은?=오케스트라 단원들은 연주하는 악보의 분량이 아니라, 리허설이나 무대에 선 시간에 따라 돈을 받는다. 쉴새 없이 울리는 바이올린에 비해 트라이앵글의 연주량이 적다고 생각한다면, 거꾸로 다른 연주자들은 조용한 상황에서 트라이앵글이 실수를 했다고 생각해 보라.
◆연주가 잘 됐는지 어떻게 알 수 있나?=곡 중에 독주 부분이 끝났을 때 오케스트라 단원들의 발을 들여다보라. 다리를 이리저리 움직이거나 삐죽 내밀면 동료들에게 '연주가 참 잘됐다'고 소리없이 말을 건네는 것이다.
◆위대한 예술의 탄생엔 고통이 수반되나?=오늘날 대부분의 예술가들은 다락방에서 주린 배를 움켜쥐고 작품을 만들지는 않는다. 다만 현대 예술 작품에 묘사된 얼굴에서 미소 띤 얼굴이 많지 않은 것은 사실이다. '행복한 예술'이란 그만큼 이루기 어렵다. 예술과 유머가 함께 동반되기는 어렵다. 예술가들은 창작 동기를 유발하는 강렬한 느낌을 필요로 한다. 어떤 이들은 '분노'에서 예술의 동력(動力)을 얻기도 한다.
◆위대한 화가 중에 여성이 드문 이유는?=영국의 저명한 화가이자 작가인 데스몬드 모리스(Morris)에 따르면 남성은 위험을 감수하는 경향이 크기 때문에 그만큼 위대한 화가가 될 수 있다고 말한다. 반면 여성은 기획과 사교에 능하다고 생각한다. 50년 전만 해도 예술계는 지금보다 더 강하게 성차별주의(sexism)에 눌려 있었다. 그 시기가 지난 후로는 '아주 좋은' 여성 화가들은 많이 나왔지만, '위대한' 여성 화가가 나오려면 더 시간이 지나야 한다.
◆요즘 오페라 가수들은 왜 예전보다 날씬한가?=최근 오페라에선 연기력과 극적인 몰입이 노래 솜씨만큼이나 중요해졌다. 배우가 화려한 가창력만 가지고 있으면, 외모나 연기력이 떨어져도 용서되는 시대는 지났다. '무대에서 뚱뚱한 여가수가 노래하는 것이 오페라'라는 고정관념이 무너졌다. 목소리뿐만 아니라 시각적으로도 배역에 잘 들어맞는 오페라 가수들이 더 평가 받는 시절이다.
조선일보의 가지언지 일요일판 옵서버 자료인용글에 흥미를 느끼고 원문을 검색해 보았습니다. 관심있으신 분은 영어공부 한번 하신다 생각하시고 읽어 보십시오. 잘 모르시는 내용은 댓글을 남겨 주시면 번역해 드리겠습니다. 감사합니다.
50 arts secrets revealed
Do directors find sex scenes embarrassing? Is the urinal in my local pub art? How does a triangle player make a living? What's the difference between pornographic and erotic photos? Our experts from the worlds of music, literature, film and art answer those intriguing questions you've always wanted to ask. Interviews by Ally Carnwath, Tom Templeton and Katie Toms
Sunday March 2, 2008
The experts: Sam Duckworth (Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly) singer; Roísín Murphy singer; Nitin Sawhney producer/composer; Will Young singer
Can you ever be too old to be a pop star?
SD: I would hate there to be a time when all music on the radio is made by under-25s. There's only so much youthful exuberance you can take.
RM: I'm getting to the point now where it's: can I go on without having plastic surgery?
Q What is the difference between a producer and an engineer?
SD: The producer oversees the sound of a record and the feel. The engineer makes sure that the sound quality is good. An engineer says: 'Can you move the mike a little bit closer so you get a better sound?' The producer says: 'How about we just put the mike there and we'll get a good vibe?'
RM: Producers are always quite parental; it's just a case of whether you have a fearful parental relationship or a nurturing one. An engineer is never parental, he comes under the producer's guidance.
NS: One twiddles knobs and faders whilst the other pretends to know why.
WY: A producer directs music, an engineer facilitates it.
Q Can modern equipment make any voice sound great?
SD: No, though you can make any voice sound in tune. There are two expressions - neither of them too savoury - that both get used in the studio: 'You can't polish a turd' and: 'Put shit in, you get shit out.'
RM: No voice is perfectly in tune down to the last decimal point, but a pitch bend can give it that digital sound. But a really good voice has got nothing to do with what's going on in the singer's throat, it's about what's going on in their head and their heart. You can't create that.
NS: I normally use a combination of compressors, graphic equalisers, reverb and 'auto-tune' to get singers to sound natural!
WY: Yes, modern equipment can make any voice sound great just as modern surgery can make any LA octogenarian look 'great'. Whether it is right, however, is another matter!
Q What is the Wall of Sound?
RM: That was Phil Spector who put a tunnel of reverb on everything. The original reverbs were actual physical tunnels that you'd send the sound down and then rerecord it as it travelled in the space. Spector would throw everything down one of those.
NS: Bloody loud! Mainly because it consists of multi-layered tones generated by lots of guitars simultaneously playing the same part. The same effect can be achieved by upsetting vast numbers of babies.
Q When do artists mime?
SD: You have to mime for video shoots. It's like doing singalong songs - you're not leading it, you're being led. For some TV shows, I've done live vocal to track where you mime your instrument and you sing live. It's one of those horrible things you have to do if they are trying to shoot a show with six bands in one day - it's a time thing but the energy of a live performance isn't there.
Q Toilet venues or stadiums - which are really more satisfying to play?
SD: Arenas are good for the ego and toilet venues are good for the soul. It depends whether you want to be famous and a star or you want to connect with people. It's great to play to loads of people, but if you can't see everyone in the venue, it's really hard.
RM: Toilets are tricky if you're trying to do something as big and glamorous as I try to do. As for stadiums, they are hard to fill with your presence; 2,000 to 6,000 capacity venues are ideal for me.
The experts: Nicholas Kenyon managing director, Barbican; Sarah Willis French horn, Berlin Philharmonic
Q How does the orchestra's triangle player earn a living?
NK: No one in an orchestra is paid by how many notes they play. They're paid, and rightly so, for the amount of time they spend in rehearsal and on stage. You might think a triangle player's job was pretty easy compared to, say, a first violin, but just think of counting all those bars' rest and what happens if you come in wrong...
SW: To be a member of the percussion section, you have to be an expert at 35 different instruments. As a member of the orchestra, he gets the same salary as the rest of us rank-and-file members, or 'tutti' as we are known.
Q What does a conductor do?
NK: Nothing, that's the point. He or she does nothing in sonic terms, while the orchestra players actually do everything and make all the sounds. But the conductor is the central point in the audience's relationship with the music, which I suppose is why they tend to get paid so much.
SW: From the outside, it looks like when he waves his arms we play and when he doesn't we stop. In fact, he interprets the piece. There's a lot of latitude within a score as to how to play things - the speed, the tone, the dynamics, the manner. So if you listen to recordings of Beethoven's fifth symphony, each one is different. I once asked Simon Rattle whether he'd noticed a player dropping their instrument and he said: 'I had my eyes closed, I was too busy interpreting.'
Q What do orchestras do to unwind?
SW: The strings practise all of the time, the wind players scrape on their reeds all day, the percussionists worry about counting bars and the brass players put away the most beer.
Q How can we tell if a piece of music has been played well?
NK: I think the audience senses subliminally if a performance is going well or badly.
SW: When a long solo has just been played look at the orchestra's feet. If they shuffle them or stick their leg out that's their discreet way of saying to their colleague 'well done'.
Q How come many opera singers are so thin these days?
NK: One of the positive things that's happened in opera in recent years is that great acting and dramatic commitment have become as important as great singing; the era of sometimes glorious noise accompanied by lumpen, unconvincing drama is over. We're getting away from the cliche that opera is just the fat lady singing, and there's a premium on opera singers who fit their roles well visually as well as vocally - though of course this can be done by singers large and small.
The experts: AL Kennedy author; Michael Morpurgo author; Rebecca Stott author and professor of creative writing at UEA
Q Is it always better to write about what you know?
ALK: This idea has always alarmed me, given my awareness that I know very little. That and I've always found that writing about things I find interesting and can learn about gets me out of the house and means I can be an asset in pub quizzes. Write about what you want to write about.
MM: If you don't know about it, you go and find out about it. It's in the research process that I find inspiration. I'm much more comfortable writing about the landscapes around me in Devon or the Isles of Scilly or a period of history I'm familiar with, but I'm also inspired to write about new places and new periods of history.
RS: Yes, but what we know we know in wildly different ways. We might know about how to tie knots or what it is like to work in a factory or a pub, or what heartbreak feels like, but we also know things imaginatively, empathetically and intuitively through the other lives we lead in books, films, poetry and non-fiction.
Q Do children's books have to take the children's side?
ALK: They all take the children's side - they tell the sticky, wriggly little scamps a story. They're a treat - one that doesn't make the nippers violent and/or fat. Do any kinds of books need to endlessly stroke their readers' egos? I'd hope not.
MM: It's fair to say that a child should be central, but it mustn't be written as if it's going to be read by children; you don't make concessions to them. The most important thing is to be full of insights about yourself and other children. Books need to make children feel they're part of the world, not a separate tribe.
RS:No. Good books push our allegiances and our judgments by making us see sides of things that are sometimes uncomfortable. A character in a Robert Browning poem once said: 'Our interest's on the dangerous edge of things. The honest thief, the tender murderer, the superstitious atheist.' I'm with him on this.
Q Why don't we read short stories in Britain?
ALK: That's like saying I don't like pandas because I don't spend much time with them. We do read short stories; it's amazing how much we read them, when we rarely know they've been published, because they aren't reviewed. We can't find them in bookshops and rarely see them in magazines.
MM: Sometimes, if you hand in a work to a publisher and it's short, they look disappointed. I think we've got hung up on big. There's a perception that for a novel to be worthwhile, it has to be 500 or 600 pages. Some of the best - Frank O'Connor, Guy de Maupassant, Paul Gallico - knew how to create an entire world in a few thousand words.
Q Does everyone have a novel in them?
ALK: They have all kinds of things in them - liver, spleen, perhaps recklessly inserted lightbulbs. Whether you want any of those things to be removed and then sold to strangers is the question.
MM: I don't know, but I do think that everyone has a story to tell. The question is, can they find the voice and the confidence to tell it? We lack the encouragement as young people to believe this; we very often think that writing is for clever people, which it isn't.
Q How many unpublished novels are written every year?
MM: God knows. But what's really good is that there are people making stories and writing them and the vast majority never see the light of day and it doesn't matter a fig. Stories are there to be told and the point is the doing of it, not whether it gets published or not.
RS: There's no way of knowing. More than ever probably, because of creative writing courses. Someone once told me that one in four Radio 4 listeners has either started or completed a novel. That's a lot.
Q How long does it take to write a novel?
MM: I spend months, sometimes years, doing what I call dreamtime, weaving it together inside my head. But when I actually feel that the egg of my story is ready to hatch, then I can write it in three months. Then I know the landscape and the people well and from the inside, but I don't necessarily know where the story is going to take us.
RS: It takes me about two years for each book I write but then I have a day job. The whole premise and story of Ghostwalk came to me in a 45-minute taxi journey heading towards an airport in thick fog at 5am. The research took several months. The first half took six or eight months to write, piece by piece; the second half, written in a silent writing retreat in a 15th-century Scottish castle, took less than a month. Then a year of editing, checking of facts, copy-editing and proofreading.
Q Has anyone read Finnegans Wake from cover to cover?
RS: I know of a reading group in Scotland who read a few pages of it every few weeks and meet to discuss those pages over a few pints, for pleasure. If they'd invite me, I'd go.
Q How much money does a jobbing novelist make?
ALK: As much as his/her job earns. The novel won't make much.
RS: Usually not enough to live on. Most novelists I know have to supplement their incomes by teaching or journalism.
The experts: Alistair Beatonplaywright; Gurinder Chadha director; Benedict Cumberbatch actor; Miriam Karlin actor; Elizabeth McGovern actor; Daniel Mays actor; Michael Winner director
Q Are sex scenes as uncomfortable for directors as for actors?
GC: Yes. I'm a good Indian girl, I still don't do sex scenes in my movies because my mum would kill me!
MW: They weren't uncomfortable for me except when Marlon Brando insisted on wearing pants and Wellingtons when he was meant to be naked having sex with Stephanie Beacham in an erotic scene in The Nightcomers. The cameraman kept calling 'pants' or 'Wellington boots', indicating they were in the shot. The minute I said 'cut' I was on the floor crying with laughter. The scene came out superbly.
Q How do actors remember their lines?
AB: Sometimes they don't. At its worst, this means they 'dry' and silence descends. More commonly, the original lines are paraphrased in some alarming way. It's hard to say which is more painful for the author. Less serious, but quite irritating is to hear the word 'Well' inserted at the beginning of speeches.
BC: With difficulty. Few of us have photographic memories. In rehearsals, repetition, 'actioning' the script, a Stanislavski-based method of understanding the why, what and how of the part by applying transitive verbs to each line, association with that action, the cue line and any blocking all act as triggers to remember the line. Dictaphones are helpful for learning cues. Another indispensable help is a patient assistant director or girlfriend.
DM: You rely on each other. I did Ladybird at the Royal Court, a really fast-paced ensemble piece with tons of quickfire dialogue, and suddenly we all just stopped. No one had any idea whose turn it was to speak. The silence lasted for about a minute, but then we found our way.
EM: People think it's hard but it's actually one of the easiest things in the world. During rehearsals, you explore why your character says a certain thing at a certain time, then your character will want to say a line at a given time.
Q What do actors do in the intervals?
AB: Drink tea. There was, of course, a certain production of Much Ado where two household names were believed to use the interval for intimate encounters.
BC: I tend to have a cup of tea, try to stop worrying about what I did wrong, cool down and will the audience back in as soon as possible.
DM: Some have a fag, some a cuppa.
EM: At the beginning of a long-running play, everyone's nervous and paces around in a panic and reapplies lipstick. After a while, you'll get long-running card games or word games like Boggle.
Q Is the booze on stage ever booze?
EM: Not unless someone's pulled a fast one. They often use ginger ale for champagne. With whisky, they drop something into water to colour it and red wine is generally grape juice.
Q What's the hardest accent to adopt?
BC: Welsh. I can always guarantee a laugh from my girlfriend when I try it.
DM: I can do them all apart from Welsh. I always try it on my girlfriend, but I just end up sounding Indian.
Q Does the show always go on?
AB: Nearly always. A production without understudies can be a worrying experience. Writer, director and producer then develop a sudden and suspiciously intense concern for the well-being of the cast.
BC: Not always. I've worked in London's Regent's Park, where the elements sometimes win, but in true British spirit it has to get really wet and dangerous before the show is stopped. I once lost my voice playing Orlando after whispering the words: 'I cannot speak to her!' which got a laugh from the one person in the 1,000-strong Regent's Park crowd who heard it.
I've also been sick before a show, during a show and after a show, but still managed to do it. Doctor Theatre is a strange, adrenaline-fuelled cure.
MK: The rules are that if the cast outnumbers the audience then you don't have to play. There was a day in the Fifties when we had the worst smog that London has ever known. I was in a fringe play and only two audience members turned up. I called a little Equity meeting and I said: 'Look, those two chaps have come through this smog, the least we can do is play.' So we did. When I got home, my darling grandfather died that night - one of thousands of smog victims.
Q Is education theatre's noblest function?
AB: No. Theatre can entertain, provoke, challenge, investigate, comfort and educate. It's arrogant of a playwright to think education is more important than anything else. Writing for the theatre does not give you permission to lecture, hector or bore.
Q Where does the word 'luvvie' come from?
AB: No idea. It's a word I hate.
BC: Not remembering people's names, I suspect.
Q Do star actors audition?
GC: If a good actor wants a role, they'll do whatever it takes to get the pa rt. Directors are the same. We do 'meetings', not auditions: that tells you a whole lot more about an actor, too.
DM: No. I don't think Ian McKellen and Judi Dench have to audition for theatre. Everyone knows what they can do. Also they are going to guarantee bums on seats.
MW: Star actors do not audition unless there is a strange and specific reason such as my friend Marlon Brando testing for The Godfather to show he could act and look much older than he was. In reality, stars audition the director to see if they want to work with him.
Q How long should a film pitch be?
GC: The shorter the better. It doesn't matter how complex your plot or your characters are; you have to be able to express the big idea of a film in a sentence or two.
MW: A pitch is the most horrific part of film-making. If the pitch is just a precis it may take only a week or so to work out and write. If it's a full script it can take anything from a few weeks to a few years. If it's a script it has to be upwards of 120 A4 pages. If it's a precis it could be half a page! It took me two days to get the script of Hannibal Brooks from a pitch to a firm 'go ahead'. It took six years to get Death Wish okayed because all the distributors said you couldn't possibly make a film where the hero was a citizen killing other citizens. Now they lecture on it in America as a breakthrough film.
Q What kind of book transfers well to the screen?
GC: You need a protagonist with a strong point of view who immerses you in a specific world; a great plot helps.
MW: Simple ones. Books tend to meander on forever. If acted aloud, they'd go on for 24 hours. Films need a clearer, shorter plot line. So some marvellous books fall flat as movies and some lesser books translate more easily.
Q Whose vision does the audience get closest to seeing?
AB: British theatre allows the writer's voice to be heard clearly. This is not the case in Germany, for example, where Regietheater rules and the director is inclined to show scant respect for both text and stage directions. In the end, a good production has to be a collaboration.
The experts: Josie Long stand-up comic; Ben Miller comedian and actor
Q Are all comedians secretly depressives?
JL: There definitely is truth to the crying clown thing. I did start trying to make people laugh because I was a big heifer of a girl and I thought if I could make people laugh about how awkward I am, it'd make me less awkward. But you also realise how fun it is to make people laugh.
BM: My theory about comedians is that their greatest fear is other people laughing at them. So comedy is an attempt to control and manipulate the thing they find most frightening.
Q What makes a joke funny?
JL: Surprise makes a joke funny. I love it when someone tells me something I couldn't possibly have expected; you've been led along one path and - bang! - the joke comes out of nowhere.
BM: There are practical things which contribute to a joke's funniness. People will find a joke funnier if they are sitting closer together, if it's cold (they get too comfortable if they're warm), if they've paid and if they are told it's funny beforehand.
Q Do you enjoy heckles?
JL: Not when a second before I deliver the punchline they shout out a worse one - that just annoys everyone. But you can get really beautiful heckles. It's funny when they are well-informed. One of my comedian friends has got a joke about thermodynamics and he got heckled with the law of thermodynamics.
BM: It depends on the situation. Virtually everything you say in response to a heckler will get a laugh because a heckle makes the audience very nervous. But I've been heckled in a play and that's difficult. I stopped the play and said: 'Who's heckling? How much did your seat cost? Well, here's 10 quid. Now fuck off.'
Q Should some topics be off-limits for comedians?
JL: It's complicated. A lot of the time it's about deliberately flirting with the edge. I saw one show where a comedian asked: 'Who here has been abused?' Someone put their hand up and said: 'Yeah, actually. I was raped by my uncle' and she was in tears. It was the most horrible atmosphere I've ever been a part of.
BM: Whatever happens in life can happen on the stage, but as a comedian you should always be clear what your target is. It's fine to be gratuitously tasteless if that's what you are intending to do. It's that old line: I don't defend what a comedian might say but I defend to the death his right to say it.
Q Is it hard to keep a straight face during comedy scenes?
BM: Definitely. It's considered really bad form to laugh at someone else because you can ruin their best take. But sometimes it's very hard not to.
Q Do comics read the critics?
JL: I try my hardest not to. The trouble with stand-up is it sort of is you and yet it isn't you and it's incredibly hard not to take everything said about you personally. I would never Google my own name; I don't want to hear people being mean about me.
BM: If you don't, you're missing an opportunity to learn. In 1993, we had a review of our show which said: 'Armstrong and Miller have invented a new kind of comedy. One which isn't funny and has no jokes whatsoever.' I thought: 'Oh my God!' But then I thought: 'I've just been told I'm absolutely shit at this and yet I want to do it anyway.' It was a very liberating moment.
The experts: Mark Haworth-Booth Visiting professor of photography at University of the Arts London; Martin Parr Magnum photographer
Q Are photographs artworks?
MHB: You can make a work of art with photography, just as you can make one by painting or writing. Or you can use it for some other purpose - like making a passport photo, just as you can use painting to create a nicer bathroom or writing to do a shopping list. It depends what you use a medium for - and then how talented you are.
MP: Photography is Art and Art is Photography.
Q Does the quality of a picture relate to the quality of the camera?
MHB: Technically - yes (depending on the proficiency of the photographer); aesthetically - not necessarily.
MP: Not at all. One of the best projects of the decade was Richard Billingham's Ray's a Laugh - photos of his dysfunctional family taken on a compact camera. Also remember the terrible quality images from Abu Ghraib that had a profound effect on our reading of the American troops in Iraq. They were barely-in-focus snaps.
Q What's the difference between pornographic and erotic photos?
MHB: The first is intended solely to provoke desire, the second is an expression of desire. The word nude, as opposed to naked, is important too: there are family snapshots or anthropological photographs of naked bodies that are not pornographic. It is generally not hard to separate the different kinds in practice.
Q Would Henri Cartier-Bresson have used colour and digital?
MHB: He did use colour in a number of photo-essays in the 1950s, but greatly preferred black and white, which gave him greater aesthetic control and enhanced expressive effects. During the important part of his career he spent as a photojournalist, working remote from the magazines based in Paris, London and New York, instant digital transmission would have been vital. More generally, I think he would have enjoyed the latitude, in terms of working in low light, of digital photography too.
MP: If HCB had been born even 20 years later, he probably would be using digital. Even the oldest Magnum members are either dabbling with digital or have switched right over. You have to be very conservative not to try this these days, as the technology has improved so dramatically in the last few years.
Q Do you have to ask people's permission to take their pictures?
MHB: It is advisable these days if you want to publish or exhibit the photos.
MP: Sometimes it feels right to ask, but I will not ask, unless it is essential to do so. If you asked all the time, you would miss everything. With the exception of portraits, it is generally bad news if people are looking at the camera.
Q Are photos realistic?
MHB: They are often realistic and they can indeed be true, but can also be the opposite. Photography is a highly elastic medium. In River Scene, France (1858), Camille Silvy selected and positioned all of the people in the photograph and added a sky from a completely different negative.
MP: Photographs are interpretations of reality; as such, it is entirely subjective. Most photos are taken with an agenda, to sell something or to make a subject look better than it really is. Think of family snapshots - everyone is smiling and happy.
The experts: Ekow Eshun director, ICA; Grayson Perry artist; Matthew Slotover editor, Frieze magazine
Q Is the urinal in my local pub a work of art?
EE: No, sometimes a urinal really is just a urinal.
GP: Yes. I have just declared it so, but unlike Duchamp's fountain, mine is a very derivative, childish and boring work of art.
MS: No - Duchamp's urinal was art once he put it in a gallery. In fact, one working definition of art is anything that is in a gallery.
Q Are we now post-postmodern?
GP: We are if it satisfies your need to categorise everything. Contemporary art often plays to the part of us that is very uncomfortable with not being sure, that cannot maintain a state of 'don't know'. The over-prioritising of meaning gets in the way of just experiencing the art in a more sensual way. Judging quality purely from an intuitive emotional response needs more confidence and experience than just working it out like a crossword clue.
Q Why are there so few great female painters?
EE: Ask Frida Kahlo. Or Georgia O'Keeffe. Or Bridget Riley.
GP: Marlene Dumas and Paula Rego might take exception to this question. Desmond Morris says that men make better artists because they are greater risk-takers; on the other hand, he thinks that women are better organisers and diplomats and more suited to become politicians.
MS: Art (and society) was a lot more subject to sexism 50 years ago than it is now. Since that period, there have been plenty of very good female painters, 2006 Turner Prize-winner Tomma Abts among them. How much history needs to pass before an artist is called 'great'? That is the real question.
Q When does a movement become a movement?
MS: Movements are overrated and invented by the press. Ask any artist if they feel or felt part of a movement - the good ones will all say no.
Q Can you make a great work of art accidentally?
EE: That's like asking whether you can write a great book or shoot a great movie accidentally. Even splashing paint across a canvas takes effort and concentration if you want to end up with something meaningful and lasting.
GP: Yes, definitely, but recognising it as a great work takes great talent.
MS: Art is about the context in which it is made as much as the object itself; objects take on different meanings in different contexts. If the artist is unaware of the context, it's very unlikely the work will be very good.
Q Can graffiti be a work of art?
MS: Graffiti is something written on a wall, and, of course, art can be exhibited or produced anywhere: a wall is just another venue. Banksy's work is achieving very high prices at present. He's making paintings for private collectors, but I'm not seeing museum shows of his work yet. All good artists think about their audience and I do think that Banksy's work is fantastically arresting when you see it. Street art is designed to be seen out of the corner of your eye, on the hoof. Art that's made for galleries is made to be looked at in a more static way for a longer period of time and may not be so striking immediately, but perhaps resonates for a longer period. But the term 'work of art' is being used here as the pinnacle of visual culture which is not a correct assumption. Is graffiti as important culturally as Picasso? Now that's a very interesting question.
Q Does great art always have something to do with suffering?
EE: That's a myth perpetrated by the Romantics that still lingers on today. These days, most artists aren't starving in their garrets. In fact, when was the last time you even saw an artist in a garret?
GP: It is true that there are not many smiling faces in modern art galleries. Happy art is much harder to make. Art and humour are uneasy bedfellows. Artists need strong feelings to motivate them to make things. I am often fuelled by anger.
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly's single 'Find the Time' is out 3 March. It is from the album Searching for the Hows and Whys, out 10 March (Atlantic Records).
Gurinder Chadha's new film Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging is out on 25 July.
Benedict Cumberbatch appears in The City by Martin Crimp at the Royal Court Theatre, London, from 24 April.
The ICA is showing the exhibition Double Agent until 6 April
Miriam Karlin's autobiography Some Sort of a Life (Oberon Books) is out now. She is appearing in the film Flashbacks of a Fool, out 18 April.
AL Kennedy's novel Day (Weidenfeld and Nicolson) is Costa book of the year.
Elizabeth McGovern stars in Freezing, out on DVD on 31 March.
Daniel Mays is appearing in Scarborough at the Royal Court Theatre, London. He can also been seen in The Bank Job, and in BBC2's White Girl on 10 March.
Michael Morpurgo's novel Born to Run (HarperCollins) is out now.
Rebecca Stott's novel Ghostwalk (Weidenfeld and Nicolson) is out in paperback now.
Michael Winner's The Fat Pig Diet (JR Books) is out now.