Should Art be more Political?
This question is old as the Arts and Politics itself.
Some people say, that artists is a powerful tool and through artistic expression society can speak up. Others, though, disagree and believe that Art with an agenda is rarely good art.
From one point of view, Art is always political to some extent. Pieces have a voice to drive people, to warn them and to visually fulfil the history. Take, for instance, Goya’s The Horrors of War, Picasso’s Guernica, David’s The Death of Marat, Louise Bourgeois’ Cell or John Heartfield’s collages that warned of the rise of Nazism.
So many people nowadays are defining themselves as artists, but how do we differentiate a real, valuable art from a pop culture or amateur artists? Perhaps, we can look behind the creations to see if there are at least any message hidden and one could argue that the one thing we could be doing is placing more prescriptive requirements on people who call themselves artists. “Let people do what they want,” I can hear my inner hippy’s cry.
Banksy, Pussy Riot, Ai Weiwei — are they the voices and representatives of our time? Will we be defined by them, when our posterity will study us?
Speaking from another side of the road, the only obligation that art bears is to enable its spectators to reflect more profoundly on what it means to be here in the world. What is bad about Rothko’s diaphanous veils or the world-weary blossoms of Van Gogh’s sunflowers, both conceptions reveal the excruciating grasp of the contours of human tragedy and soulful torment. Pieces are being the mirrors of artists and spectators, like a walkie-talkie being passed from a one suffering being to another, helping both of them to look inside out themselves. Being couple of decades away from Van Gogh, Close Monet, and Gaugin, we don’t seem to remember anyone else greater that them on their times, though they were not putting shouting slogans out there.
All depends on what actually the viewer is seeking in artwork.
Indeed, politics is everywhere in today’s art if we know how to detect and decode it. But who is the decisive part in this process — it is you.
Depending on what you are eager to fulfil — your political view, your travail, you anger or your loneliness, everything depends on the audience.
So, what do you think about it?
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