2019-11-28

My practice has been on my mind for a while now. I struggle with it, and the art world in general. Its pompous pretentiousness; the money; the biennales that pitch up in sinking cities inviting tourists to places that don’t want them. I think about the burning forests and the flooding, the retreating glaciers and the parched lands, and what I do doesn’t rest easy. My creative practice seems very self-indulgent in the face of all this. Recently I learnt the etymology of the word amusement. Amusement is a way to divert the attention, a way of wasting time. Whereas a museum houses the muses and muses talk about love, sex and death. All the important stuff. Museums are places for contemplation not places for pleasurable, diverting games. If the image is power and art has the power to influence people then I need to take this into account.

2 thoughts on “2019-11-28

  1. i think of these two things when i read this…
    the artist as prophet by hedges and in defense of fiction by smith

    i get so frustrated with the nyt arts section, which seems mostly filled with entertainment and distraction. a while back i was listening to classical music (as i often do) on wqxr and a commercial came on for listening on your home speaker device — it said something along the lines of, “a great distraction for your busy day.”

    distracting the creative brain can be good. we need time to recharge and gain momentum, but these are also intense and dark times. our culture’s inability to face issues head on will be its demise. we must redefine so much in today’s landscape and challenge notions of convenience and distraction, privilege and happiness — before its too late.

    1. And it’s almost like they want us to be distracted so they can wreak havoc without us knowing. As we watch our box sets they quietly destroy our world. Like you say, distraction can be good, but we must not bury our heads completely. That is a powerful piece by Hedges. Especially the words: “The artist, if true to his or her vocation, recovers the past and explains the present. The artist is the true chronicler of who we were and where we came from. Culture, in times of distress, is not a luxury but a life raft..” As artists we must heed those words.

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