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Why art ?

novembre 10, 2016

Un follow up de la question posée sur ce même blog le 17 octobre – À quoi sert l’art ?

Par l’artiste Matthew Weinstein, Brooklyn, au lendemain de l’élection.

Keep going !

Artists get back to work. We are needed in times like these. Maybe not in the instant, we aren’t ambulances, but in a slow motion present; a revealing of the fact that we have always been here and that we have our uses. Think of the artists who, in grotesque times, turned revulsion into imagery and gesture, and through acts of passionate creativity gave panicked and grieving people an iconographical mirror. And when this time is past, and it will pass, people will look back at it partially through images and gestures. Art can make something out of this awful present. Many of us valorize artists of the past who have used art against the present, while forgetting that artists with this intention exist right now; that this is a possibility. Or that it is already being done. 

The act of retrenchment into one’s own work is an insistence that the culture of creativity, liberality and love is not vanquished. Making art is an act of love. Love for one’s self, love for a world that one wants to insert one’s work into, and love for a world that seems to be always just out of our grasp; that we keep grasping for, because that’s what we do.

And like all love, the love of an artist for the world, which most of the time has no need of what we do, can become rage. But within art, rage can be transformed into a benevolent model of fury; an insistence that people who devote their lives to love and creativity are fucking planted in the earth, that inventing one’s reality is not an escape but a stance. We don’t have to like each other’s work, but we need to respect each other for making work. 

Let’s make our best work, see each other’s shows, and argue with each other about things so obscure that to many, and often accurately, we seem like cats lunging at shadows on the wall. There is nobility in caring about things; believing in things, and insisting that the world needs obscurity as much as it needs clarity.

A work of art can be a point in a triangulation between it and two people. This is valuable.

Art can be a model of keeping love alive when love seems dead. This is valuable.

Art can exist alongside terrible times and insist that they contain value. This is valuable.

Art is a model of a rational society created with partly irrational intentions. Even dystopian art is utopian in that it creates a model of the world in which art still exists. This is valuable.

It’s difficult to believe in anything right now, so i’m starting with art, and I hope to keep adding things with time.

We have no choice but to keep going. That’s what animals do.


©Matthew Weinstein

« Ladies and Gentlemen, when the revolution will come, people will call each other sweetie-pie and kitten and poopsie. They will blow kisses at each other and hug without touching. And we will forgive them because we will know that this behavior is a part of something bigger, much bigger, something so big that space people will crane their necks out of their spaceships to see it, but we will cover the earth with a gigantic piece of red velvet, and we will say, ‘no, NO! You can’t see it yet. It isn’t finished. »

Art and life forever !

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