Is there someone Rodin didn’t fuck?
Issue of understanding is very crucial today like the issue of what you can say to somebody and what is not good to say to somebody and who is this somebody to whom we choose to say what we think or choose not say what we really think. Why do we think the way we do and what is this social game? What are the grounds of our thoughts and actions, what are the benefits and drawbacks? Do you encourage as you think it is the best way to practice humanism or do you discourage and why, what kind of place does silence play in discouraging and giving lessons, choosing not to act upon something or someone, choosing not to benefit someone. Via this we can analyse people’s motives, character, emotional capacities and attitudes, positions people think they have in relation to others, also power people think and clearly have over others. Who gets encouraged and who does not. This is a very important factor in making of us. Who has the strength to fight against constant discouragement, constant doubt and ridicule? How much is it allowed to say I do not understand this without sounding stupid and what is the thing we want to understand, because sometimes it seems it is not ourselves or the other, it is not politics, it is not social media and reasons behind it. The question of I do not understand is frequent for an artist to hear. It was not frequent at university, because fear of sounding stupid is acute and real. This is the record of rational contemporary humans, fear of not being adequate, of not being smart enough to wonder out loud. Art can be the thing which must be understood immediately or else it is pointless, wrong, out of place and futile. Measured by reason which is obviously there owned by the viewer who walks by, gazes, feels awkward and refuses art as it is not so him or her, it is not part of this person meaning it does not resonate, give much, have personal touching points. Art therefore must be owned by the viewer as likeable as it flatters the viewer, belongs to his or her realm, reality, understanding and does not frighten. Point of making difficult and complex art is exactly this, that it is not a straight passage to walk through and say this I understand, this is good and worthy the money. What I understand is good what I do not understand is threatening and maybe even bad, corrupt. Art must be equal to good as it is seen as doing good, teaching us about ourselves. Question is what art teaches about ourselves then? Art we are shown has an entertainment value, it has to be applauded and accepted by experts, this makes art valid and existent. Seen, judged, talked about, placed, viewed, liked. Art expert is someone who has a lot of power telling what is good, hopefully clearly telling to those who are not experts why good is good and bad is bad. So what is the situation when art experts are corrupt and are not telling about art objectively but subjectively and when personal relations define good, and even what is art? When things get more than instantly comprehensible people lose their temper, patience, interest, the difficulty is almost an insult against the viewer because it is not made into easily chewable bits after which to feel thankful and smart of having seen this, witnessed.
What kind of message and content sinks in? How must information be modified, modelled, moulded, simplified, made comprehensible within the frame of our culture, the frame being as we understand our culture, ourselves and people’s needs, desires, minds, assumptions, patterns of thought, appreciations. We all search for some kind of grandness which elevates us. We understand via where we come from and we see people through that lens. It is all so often said and thought of me for example that I as coming and working working class jobs am not able to understand, gain, reach out for and grasp his and her culture. I do get, I really get it if you know what I mean. “That kind of people rarely take interest in classical music, even less to contemporary classical music” or ” I can’t afford to get a PhD in Switzerland” or “My art is not art” Straightforward no to my desires and dreams. I have shut up about them because to understand value of my dreams and capability to reach out go uncomprehended. Strangely my gender and my class, my poverty put me in a position where I am told more no’s and told about my lack of cultural and intellectual capacity which is bound to where I come from and what kind of an instant image my gender poses to people. If I tell what I would like to do, I am told the reasons why it is impossible for me, just like that. Please tell me your motives, they really stay in the cloud. Thank you for the moral and mental support. You guys shine a light.
This is my understanding of contemporary humans where understanding is the most difficult and hardest part even though there seems to be loads of it as personally all view themselves and pose. How contemporary it is let’s pause for a moment and ponder. Still even though we live in the age of intellect, smart this and that, there are strict boundaries who can be smart and what is smart, who can make and who can’t. Anything worth while is simulated and signalled via the named, labelled, defined, understood in a way concept of smart. Smart which is effortless and an easy process of making things to better our lives, availability and accessibility signalling this. What do we have access to and how? Who can access what? Do we have access to something that is relevant or to something which is on the go, moving and getting replaced as easily as it is coming to us like a whistle?
When you have access to all this what is named smart you are smart too, that you have it. You know how things work on the surface and you do not have to know what things truly are, are for, are made of, come from and why. Is this living a lie and not wanting to admit it because it would be too hurtful? Purpose of smart is the created illusion which brings the good feeling of being inside and having it all. It is still an unfortunate fact that possession, bank account saldo, where you come from and who you know define our moral, intellectual and cultural superiority. This is also believed and held dear by those who should be able to question everything even status and relevance of their own, those are ‘intellectuals’ in arts and academies. Vanity is the biggest drive we seem to have and be incapable to fight against. Why should we fight it when it justifies and states our uniqueness and glory.
What is art consumer supposed to think when making of an institution reveals to be one case after another strange of mishaps, strange errors of thought and intentions appear to be more or less suspicious? Is there room for thinking when criticism is unwanted and clearly the institution is wanted to be set without questions asked? Critical views against and for and about quality of art must be freely discussed as must be deals done by officials and representatives which deals obviously have got political ends. Does art exist without politics one may ask? Anyway who could be against art? It is fair to ask how art is produced, what and why something is trendy or famous and stays that way, what is the progress made within art and how does it show? Why does art itself has got an image of a good-doer, a charitable well-spirited voice waking up and bringing light into darkness? Partly that is what art does in places where the normal is grim. Art has potential to lift up in many ways, uplift the maker and the viewer. Does it lift up the institutions that work with art, is art for art and institutions for themselves? Of course. Art has value of a tool, if you ask me, as it should and must since it is not above people but for people. When art scene does something it usually always is a cause which is a good for all promoting human interest in general, whatever human interest may be, interest is and can be defined in many ways but we assume cause is something like human rights are for everybody, environment must be preserved, public spaces should have more beautiful art, art heals etc.
When there is confusion, denial and clear misunderstanding of what is racism, sexism, discrimination, hate speech, exploitation, class division and where goes the line to abuse in there where artists are to work, then one can wonder how do these people who work in art understand what is good art, what are suitable working conditions, how ethics is applied and how art should be implemented in the world today because it is a very different world than for example ten years ago, still change happens in art very slowly even though it claims otherwise. In situations where sexism, discrimination and racism are widely tolerated but unseen and are spoken against via art, that there is institutionalized way of interacting which includes sexism, discrimination and racism, it is too risky and difficult to make a difference to speak out. It is a fact that art is elitist, to be an artist is elitist but that elitism disappears when one refuses to work with fascist dishonest system. System in which without recognition artist is unknown. Art is therefore done for the system to recognize and artist to establish one’s position must play by the rules of the system.
Art spectator can expect to see the surface without much depth.
http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/arts-and-books/how-words-shape-our-world “He argues that all ethical outlooks share a common structure in which we experience a kind of call, divine or inner, which requires us to seek with varying success to overcome our limitations and blindness. To be open to this call requires that we can recognise “something as right or worthy, and this recognition cannot be dispassionate.” Emotion and empathy are thus central to moral reasoning.”
This is the constant puzzle in art to me, why the bubble exists, what purpose does it serve? Excellence, success and glory that happen to small amount of people to keep standard high and the excellence paraded is known by small amount of people, experts and authorities of art, people with good taste? Part of the problem are the authorities and hierarchies which keep the walls up very tightly as they always have been thinking it is the excellence itself and they have found success, a peak of something good and solid. Do small circles make elitism? Don’t such small entities end up dead? Isn’t that what is hard to understand in elitism: why does not elitism open up and invite in? What there is to lose? Elitism is afraid of change and looking in to a mirror. It is much safer to stay closed up. What new gets made, I wonder. Why the excellence, success and glory ring a bit empty and old? People around and within art as it seems to have made it so that art has parted from reality of most people. There are people who can afford it and those who cannot or are not able to think of art as they have to survive and simply are not interested as it is so distant and unreachable. It is not for us. Part of elitism are luxury, showing off wealth, suspicion, hunger for success, wanting to take advantage of people, which all can have quite negative impact on the art scene, art displayed, people working within the arts, the whole culture of producing art which to me is weirdly enough not welcoming nor encouraging. What elitism does to art and why art is elitist is still a bit of a mystery to me, because that is not why I started to study art.
Elitism is paranoia, inequality, discrimination and desire to build a wall in between us and them just because of the idea of being better than, like those who wish to stay clean would have something to be afraid, death and poverty, shame and losing face? They already are dirty and in dirt up their necks when building the wall begun. Elitism is isolation and keeping distance from those who do not connect with the elitist way of living and thinking. It is party of the privileged. One knows when one is surrounded by elitism. Things are not said aloud, people have their acts ready and theater running which keep the props up and things unchanged. That is what is wrong with art, to repair such an idiotic situation seems somewhat impossible. So why is art elitist? It is to preserve privilege, high prices and serve interests of the well-off.
Gossip is a tale of such elitism which lurks everywhere in the meaning to shut out.
Strength of poetry now is to break the need for absolute professionalism, to disturb a search for stability and getting entertainment to keep politics, activism, feelings and other distresses aside and away, to absolutely jeopardize contemporary consciousness and threat the norms. To question the mindset of absolute money-making machinery, ideology of winning, the exceptional of it, smugness of it. To bring anarchy into writing in the net, to making art altogether. To question the ways of making and why make.
Even within the fine arts it is not self-evident there is interest or knowledge over poetry. It is somehow below the image, below the hype and contemporary ‘self-evident’ excellence of educated and notified skill and talent.
When I tell people I teach and – God help me – even write poetry, they often say, “I wish you could explain modern poetry to me. I just don’t understand most of it.”