I am feeling quiet and private after a rich holiday weekend. The time didn’t go quite according to my very loose plan: I’m much further ahead on some tasks than I had anticipated, and still sluggishly behind on others.
So here is some very good and impressive news from out there. Granted, it seems slow, but bravo to Denmark for taking the official lead. On a tiny scale, I was pleased to be termed an activist, as well, though activism through art seems to be an even slower, oblique process, one in which artists are largely preaching to the choir. Hermine Ford articulates my stance almost exactly, much better than I can myself, in this essay:
“Artists are not obligated to play a public political role, or express politics in their work though they may, and often do. However, as private citizens they have the same responsibilities as do all citizens of a democracy. I am a very political person, but I don’t make political art. However, one can make the case that all art is political on some level. The best art comes from a place of deep freedom, freedom and the empowerment to explore oneself, and through that to find commonality as well as difference. One could say that in itself is a political act. I do not experience a conflict between public and private concerns. The work I do as an artist provides the opportunity to make those concerns one and the same. I make work for myself and for others. If, through my work I provide a life raft for myself, I also provide a life raft for a few others. The individual’s responsibility, both in the public realm and in our own work, is to stay clean, “speak truth to power,” keep all dictators, including dictators of taste, the market, the academy, at bay.”