Saturday, September 6, 2008


Now that it is election time in the US, I often get annoyed about really unqualified rants by fellow artists. Often it appears to me that bashing the so called status quo is the easiest way of releasing some steam and the cheapest way to fish for compliments. There is nothing progressive or courageous about bashing your political opponents when your opinion is in the clear majority amongst your circle of friends…Maybe it is just me but I really prefer not to take a stand on my blog. It really would not matter. And it would be embarrassing if I thought it did…

Often I have asked myself the question why artists would want their work to address political issues, when art is really just about itself in the first place. Being political does not make anything more or less meaningful, better or worse. There is great political work I do admire that is just too good to be overlooked. But the way I see it there is always one problem with political artists: It is just too easy to discredit a cause that supposedly concerns a larger group of people, but in reality just benefits artists who exclusively strive for personal interest. You would have to be exceedingly brilliant or make the most convincing images to pull this off and get away with that. Brilliance is the only loophole in such cases, the only escape from being terribly ridiculous. There is always an element of improbability in creating works of art. It just must be difficult to achieve. Herein lies an element of tragedy. One thing the viewer treasures without a doubt is watching a tragedy unfold. Who can beat the tragedy of an artist walking a thin line between greatness and ridicule? Why should we make it unnecessarily hard for ourselves? Where is the gain?

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