The air outside is thick with the chunky rumblings of disapproval, like the sound of makeshift wooden carts being pulled over a road covered with skulls. Misty fog of confusion impedes visibility farther than the next stone’s throw, and motivation to keep moving slowly dissolves into the swirling void.
Hmm, this image would make a nice painting! But, would I be able to show it anywhere without it offending someone with a smartphone and an excess of self-importance? It would seem to be a big ‘No’ to that.
Museums, galleries, even personal collections are all undergoing a strange type of Spring Cleaning, and this confuses me. I like to think that if someone buys my work, it’s because they like it, and hopefully me too. However, since art collectors operate on a different mindset that involves how art is valued, their ‘appreciation’ often tends to have a different meaning than enjoyment.
Objects d’arte are now fashionably controversial, or can be made to seem so with their hasty (yet publicized) removals to the depths of storage vaults, to accommodate and monetize the current Cancel Culture trend. Someday, they will be able to take these sequestered works back out and have a Removale Retrospective, showing these works that suddenly were notoriously Uncool. Oh yes, and their value will have appreciated.
So this makes me wonder about a few things here. What new art will we, as the audience, be subjected to, in order to fill this moral void? Will it be any good, or just morally correct? Does the removal criteria stop with ‘prior possible slave owner’, or will we continue to inflict restrictions because it’s become popular to test our public strength by rewriting both history and culture? Can’t we have both, and maybe just add a side note about the slaving?
What a strange dilemma we have here. Arts are supposed to reflect not only the artist’s own viewpoint based upon their personal vision, but also the society’s viewpoint, based on it’s influence upon the artist. Is it right to remove art because of fear? Is fear society’s viewpoint now? I think it might be. Look at the movies coming out now; they make me want to either smile with a face that feels like wet leather, or leave the DVD player on ‘pause’ and rush out to buy ammo.
The slave-owning thing is, um… interesting. I am glad to be living in a country that supposedly put an end to this sad practice within it’s borders, but did you notice all those caveats? Somebody, please tell me of a country that has never used or sold enslaved people. Somebody now please tell me why, oh why is human trafficking still going on here? What art will save these people currently enslaved to this practice?
What I would like to see is a practical shift in priorities here. How does it benefit anyone to remove someone else’s art and history, to replace it with another equally biased version. Why not have all views, and save money for more important things, like fighting current human trafficking. Art sales for freedom? Sound incendiary these days, and the bake sale I had last week just didn’t cut the cake.
My point is this: we’re chasing the wrong rabbit here. We shouldn’t chase rabbits at all, really. It’s undignified, and annoys the rabbit. Buy art that you like. Make some art to the best of your ability, and go to museums and look at more art. It won’t hurt you, I promise.
As for the current slavery issue, it’s just a drop in the vast bucket of human misery, but it is something you can do something about. You want to legislate, protest, tear down traditions? Then legalize and decriminalize adult sex work, and in this time of health concerns: provide them with safety and health care. There are so many local things to do about this, and local police could tell you more, but I have included a link that shows a tiny bit of information on this in the US. Let’s get our priorities straight here, and put an end to slavery now.
It’s only January, and already I’m ranting, sheesh. KAri the Kulture Kween says kwyet down now, and let’s get down to some good work.