It seems that communicating anything real in art has gone out the window. It is all about decorating and selling now.
Queen West Art Crawl is on at Trinity Park today and tomorrow. I remember when it first started years ago, it was a juried exhibition and you had to be a professional artist to get in. It was worth seeing and some people actually sold or found galleries through it. Today anybody if they pay the money can show. So I saw a sign "I love life and colour" and really awful colours thrown on a canvas. I am happy the person loves life and colour but really wish she/he wouldn't call herself/himself an artist.
It seems that communicating anything real in art has gone out the window. It is all about decorating and selling now.
I am curious what happens in the long run with young people used to reading articles about human suffering and horrors with half page ads sprawled along the pages touting sex and material goods. Visual statements always have a stronger impact on our brains than words. The ads stop us from having emotions about what we are reading, they interfere with our ability to digest the words and have a reaction. In other words the ads block our emotions to the article!
What do you think will happen to our young people overtime? They will either stop reading the articles so as to not get frustrated or become immune to their feelings. I think this is a big factor in why our society is as apathetic as it is to the suffering of others, to homelessness, to illness, to abuse...especially among our millennials. They prefer instagram to FB now because there is nothing to read there, just fun photos...it is not just a ploy to avoid seeing the suffering of the world but a way to save their humanity.
In the past we read books or newspaper held in our hands and had time to ponder what we were reading, digest it, have an opinion. Put it down and pick it up again, immerse ourselves in the thoughts. Not anymore!
The internet is a tool of Capitalism only now, it has killed our compassion and humanity and brains. Intellectualism is dead. And will totally disappear if people like Doug Ford and Trump have their way.
There is a lot of talk about how relaxing doing art is; unless the art itself frustrates you...which is most of the time if you are aiming to do something worthwhile...mandala painting is relaxing as is colouring...that is what should be advertised as stress-reducing, not painting. Also the whole of art as a profession is undermined with this kind of PSYCHO-BABBLE! Art is not seen as work but play and therefore does need to be paid.
The other day someone posted a terrible article about Mother Theresa...I got really annoyed and said that unless they were capable of living the way she did they should shut up! We don't even have respect for our saints anymore...she was an incredible woman…
There is something about intelligent, self-sacrificing, compassionate women that brings out the ire in not only men but other women as well not capable of the same…
Instead of being grateful for those who can and are willing to show the way to a better world, people get jealous…because the ego is the evil force that dominates our society now, the shining light of compassion and love is all but a tiny flicker about to be extinguished.
The word LOVE is bandied about a lot instead, even becoming famous in the art world, practically on everyone’s tee-shirt and coffee mug. Once said or printed it is then quickly forgotten.
Has the rise of technology caused us to be so insular, a prototype of the individual focused and glued to his IPhone, feeding the flames of ego uninterrupted by outside influence?
And yet we speak of community often. What does that mean? It means a group of people who are out to get as much as they can for themselves from the others. There is no notion of sharing and caring any longer. There is only a fear that there won’t be enough resources to go around and thereby one needs to compete to get what they can.
Capitalists have eaten everything and everybody including the governments...there are no resources left for them to expand to…and that is what people are sensing but too afraid to say or do anything about. Change is always difficult and scary.
The choice is between perpetuating the myth that the wealthiest capitalists have our best interest at heart or realizing that they are only out for themselves and their everlasting profits while everybody else suffers.
It is time to create social democracy in our country or admit that we don’t give a damn if several hundred children go hungry and die in the streets.
Yesterday we voted for death in Ontario! And if we continue on this road, nature will take care of people’s pain and flick us off the earth like it did the dinosaurs, create an ice-age maybe and a new species will be born.
Humans will be but a bubble in the ocean of either pleasant waters or the fire of lava.
Make a new New Cultural Policy for the Arts that is called “Creative Canada”.
According to “The Walrus”, Jan. 30 2018, “Creative Canada promises nothing short of an epochal “transformation in how we view culture and creativity.” The stakes are indeed enormous: the resulting policy will influence how Canadians get our information, determine the fate of the nation’s most important cultural institutions, and shape the contours of the Canadian imagination for decades to come. What Minister Joly has delivered, however, is a paean to Silicon Valley, a gift to American technology firms, and a vision of Canadian culture as governed by web analytics and productivity tools. Creative Canada is all media and no message, a cultural policy that reflects little of Canada and none of our culture.”
In other words Creative Canada is turning artists into into tech entrepreneurs is a triumph of Silicon Valley values, with all media and no substance!
There is no value in being an inspired, original artist any more except in the service of the marketplace according to Creative Canada Plan.
Margaret Atwood's book, “ Handmaiden's Tale" prophesizes the future. That is the real role of an artist. According to this new Creative Canada policy a book like that would be of no value to their plan of being an innovative tech entrepreneur developing business or technology. This plan is the death of art in Canada!
All that tax money you throw at these so called artists is going to a bunch of charlatans who are sociopathic enough make it look like they are doing art while developing communities and business and technology.
Art can inspire, beautify, make you aware of your sensual and spiritual nature, of the meaning of life, but not become engineers or business tycoons. Art is needed in our life to uplift us from the mundane, not wallow in it.
Van Gogh created such amazing beauty that scientists are now saying his brushstrokes are an exact reflection of fractals in nature. Do you really think that if he had to develop technology or do business he would have been able to paint energy and not just surface nature? He did not sell anything in his life ergo he was also a bad business man, Because you can’t do both, be a good artist and good business man at the same time, it is like wanting the light on and off at the same time in a room. Impossible.
The Creative Canada Plan is killing culture in this country not enhancing it. It is only enhancing commerce and capitalism.
History will be the judge of our art and art world and NOT the marketplace or how well artists thrive in it! All artists can do is keep their integrity.
As an artist and former psychologist I can tell you right now, that technology will not only NOT save the world but push it further in the wrong direction, in the direction of robotic living devoid of humanity and soul, of further exploitation of nature and the death of compassion and humanity.
Political correctness on steroids is the antithesis of greatness. If we are focused on grammar while reading poetry we will miss the essence and soul of the words. Political correctness not only kills the joy of life but it is a devise that tries to silence criticism. It is an invention of the uncreative mind to rein in and keep in check the creative ones. It is politically incorrect to be different, original, not tow the line or be yourself in favour of making the group look good. Political correctness is a form of making sure that no one stands out.
That is death in the art world for an artist. To feel that somehow by being different from the status quo you are undermining the very fabric of your culture. Political correctness is in fact a form of disguised discrimination of the minority by the majority. It is a way to control others without actually contributing anything intelligent or creative yourself.
Political correctness shuts down creative debates on any subjects, and it doesn’t allow you to vote differently on art juries from your peers that are watching who raises their hand for which artist. If you cast the wrong vote, you are out of the politically and artistically correct crowd.
Yes, in Canada even the art world has embraced political correctness and it is stifling truly creative artists. If you veer a bit too much from the fad of the times, you are immediately shunned as an outsider artist, often synonymous with being uneducated or unschooled, even if you have a masters, and guarantees that you will never receive an art grant or be shown in a commercial gallery. And let’s face it only a few artists are wealthy enough to pay to have regular shows in for-rent galleries. And those artists are often actually unschooled.
Political correctness in Canada has seeped into the very fiber and area of life and culture and the thought police are re-writing history, removing art from museums and banning, knocking down inappropriate sculptures of historically inappropriate people while burning books. Instead of actually having a healthy, tension ridden, juicy, feisty dialogue between equals that might possibly lead to real change of mind, to a creative resolution.
Political correctness is the way of the child that throws temper tantrums and breaks their offending toys and screams when you try to engage it in dialogue. Political correctness masks the truth. Behind those phoney smiles hides an attitude of total disregard and callousness.
Instead of being politically correct and re-writing history we need to engage in differences of opinion and ideologies discussed respectfully, critically and reflectively. We need to start appreciating our differences and uniqueness and make Canada stand out in the world for its greatness and not for its politeness and political correctness.
It is time we allowed people who are great to be themselves, to support our inventors and creatives and to appreciate that people are intelligent enough to handle a painting of a nude young girl in a museum or looking at a sculpture of a Founding Father that was politically incorrect and realize what actually happened.To leave literature alone and keep teaching from brilliant books in school and not just the politically correct ones.
In art terms we need to stop funding and supporting arts administrators who are the loudest about political and creative correctness, who only create lifeless bureaucracies, and start supporting the artists who are great and recognized to be great by the international art community.
In ancient lore shamans were magic practitioners that helped shape the first human societies.
As wise as they were feared, the shaman mystics were a high-rank figure in the
human society, capable of winning battles, de-cursing allies, they could heal physical
wounds and the soul, and also communicate with animal spirits and even shape shift.
In 2012, archaeologists uncovered an unusual site near Lake Świdwie, in north-western
Poland. After meticulously analyzing the settlement using modern techniques, the team
of researchers concluded that it dated back more than 9,000 years.
Yew blades were found near the lake Swidwie in POLAND...This discovery is unique, as
found in other shaman settlements in Siberia and Mongolia only. It apparently served as
a sanctuary from where the spirit practitioners engaged into rituals and out-of-body experiences
which are now out of reach for modern science or written history. It demonstrates
that ancient Europeans had knowledgeable advisors who could read the stars,
use advanced remedies from nature, and who knows what other ancient techniques that
are now forever lost.
Artists-as-shamans are needed in these warring times. Art heals and reveals that which
science cannot. These artists are people in a quest for life's deeper meaning. Shamanism
is universally concerned with the well-being of both nature and human nature, and
the relationship between them. How can modernity know so little for knowing so much?
In making art, the artist breathes herself out to allow the breathing in of universal air, intelligent
with many minds, alive with energy. Artist, shape-shifter, shaman or poet, all are
lovers of metamorphosis, all are capable of visions, insights and dreams.
Real artists have taken up the role of the shaman in our times. Possibly because both
art and shamanism use the realm of metaphor where feeling is expressed and where
healing happens. With metaphoric vision, empathy flows, knowing no borders. Both
artist and shaman create harmony within an individual, and between the individual and
the wider environment, a way of thinking essential for life, which we have almost forgotten
about in our pursuit of money and technology and power.
I saw the video "Marina Abramovic, The Artist is Present" yesterday, showing all her
monumental exhibits and previous performance pieces...that woman is a true artistshaman!
Marina Abramovic, born in Yugoslavia in 1946, has a career that spans approximately
fifty works over four decades of interventions and sound pieces, video works, installations,
photographs, solo performances, and collaborative performances.
"The Artist is Present" is the longest solo performance ever undertaken by an artist in a
museum setting, MOMA. For 3 months everyday for 8 hours a day, Marina sat still in a
chair inviting the audience to take turns sitting in a chair opposite her in silence with
locked eye contact. It turns out that if you can empty your mind each time before, you
can connect with the other stranger's essence and many many people were so moved
by this connection with Marina that tears rolled down their faces in joy.
Now this is an example of how art can be transformative, just as a shaman in ancient
societies transformed people with their spells.
Marina's earlier performance pieces were also dramatic, pointing to hidden aspects of
human nature, which is what art should really be about. Since her early days in Serbia,
Marina has put herself under extreme physical and mental duress to jolt viewers out of
ordinary patterns of thinking. When she cut herself with a knife, or slammed her body
into a wall, it was done with such purity, the viewer was lifted temporarily out of themselves.
It is the opposite of sensationalism or exhibitionism, it is pure magic to behold.
Artists often suffer in their youth, according to Joseph Campbell, as if ‘the whole unconscious
has opened up and they’ve fallen into it’. Shamanism, like art, is a calling, and a
young person may be ‘doomed to inspiration’ as the anthropologist Waldemar Bogoras
wrote of the Siberian shamanic vocation. In a painful transformation lasting months or
years, the young shaman loses interest in life, eats little, is withdrawn or mute, sleeping
most of the time. It reads like a portrait of the young artist in a devastating depression.
The young shaman overcomes the illness through the practice of shamanism, just as
many artists know that their own best medicine is found in their work, like Van Gogh,
who was guided by the sun from the dark side of the mind, to the ecstasy of being.
Author - Heroine's Journey
The more our technology grows and develops it seems that the worse human behaviour becomes. And the more crippling the choices for our lives we make, like electing sociopathic presidents, who make money into a sacred entity, and those that have the most, into gods.
Earth religion or spirituality is a term used mostly in the context of nature worship which is a system of religion based on the veneration of natural phenomena. It existed everywhere, in Europe, Asia, etc and in America it is still in existence through the Aboriginal Culture. When it was taken over by Christianity, Judaism and the other more modern religions, we lost our respect for our environment and earth and started viewing it as subservient to us, as no longer a living, breathing, organic entity.
This has been the start of our exploitation and abuse of Nature, our total lack of regard. And as we continued in this trend, money and technology became more important and relevant in our lives, until today we value machines, robots and concrete more than trees.
The result of devaluing our earth is a devaluation of ourselves as living breathing, organic humans, thus violence against women and children and elderly is rampant.
What comes next? Our demise? We can only hope to to limit and reverse the path we are torpedoing along. Technology and science will NOT save us, despite our fervent wishes. Because they belong in the hands of the people in power who have the same sociopathic beliefs as the presidents. So science is being used to genetically modify race horses so they can make more money for them.
Art will also not save us because it no longer reminds of our beauty and transcendent values but is used to decorate walls and titillate our more basic senses. Art needs to sell, so it is a slave to the marketplace.
Can we go back to worshipping nature as the earth religion people did? I think not. We know too much, it wouldn't be real, probably just play-acting. Do we hide in our own religions, and become fanatics and limited in our view. That is a danger worse than play-acting. Instead of emulating the prophets of those religions we made them into killer heroes.If Christ was alive he would probably shut down most churches and that goes for Temples and Mosques if their prophets lived now.
All organized belief systems have become usurped by the powers at be and pursuit of money.
Yet in Nature, in the Woods or even a Park, when we immerse ourselves, we begin to get an experience of what being alive really means, a gladness over takes us and deep relaxation and we start to feel a little grateful for the trees that give us the air we breathe. But soon the weekend jaunt is over and we are back in the rat race....
Real artists do not have fun giving birth to their creations, they are usually tortured souls that delve deep into their psyche to produce and create what they do...and may feel an ecstatic union with their Muse for a moment...but it is not a game to them, like it is too often with many new emerging artists, especially ones who shun the thought of Art College...
If we were discussing Professional Singers...everyone can sing and be made happier and more creative for it, does that mean we should all be on stage and that it is our vocation to be a singer in this life time? Digital Visual Art done skillfully and beautifully is and can be great art...if it is done by a professional artist whose vocation it is to be one and they know their digital tools well...unfortunately in the visual art world today people find it it easy with new technology to put something realistic down on a canvas with a transfer without needing to even know the basics of drawing and art, and light and shadow and perspective, etc...and feel like they are professional artists because they are selling (which is never a criterion in the art field)...
Lets face it, it is good to be creative and happy in your life which singing in the shower and fooling around with paint can do for you BUT it is not the same thing as being a professional singer and professional artist...we have lost our clarity in this regard with the advent of all the new technology...and in our pursuit of hedonism we have also lost the notion that we came to earth to pursue one special vocation which maybe creative accounting for example, and doing art as a hobby for fun...and having a creative life generally...
Capitalism and the pursuit of money has confused the world that only art that sells is of value and that we are all jolly artists having fun and making money...
As Edgar Degas said, "“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do”.