AN AGE

I haven’t been here for a little while. And somewhere from there to here I have lost sight of what I am doing. Ease myself back into it. Whatever the abstract it is. A haitus can’t last forever.

This is a confused rant sort of thing that I wrote at the start of December.

It’s been a couple of months now. A couple of months of painstakingly slow, almost in focus photos. Dragging myself out of black and white. Progression is important. Vitally so. In absence of progression, ideas will never develop. Just sit and fester at the base of our brains, until they sink down spinal chords to disappear forever.
At times of social change such as these, development is everywhere. But in which direction?

Our political situation is a mess. A shambles. An utter state. As we are carried away in this seemingly all-consuming surge of populism, what is the way forward? Are we not just running in circles, kicking up dust until we can’t see out own feet hit the track in front of us, let alone realise that we’ve been this way time and time again. Populist policies, brainwash the white working class. Creating divisions in place of unity. Heightening hatred.

The establishment consists of the elite, and society is constructed to benefit them. Even the art world itself has always been run by the elite. White, upper class men, approving of, purchasing and exhibiting work that they can relate to. The work of other white. Upper class. Men. But as art is pushed out of the comprehensive education, we are only moving backwards. Back-pedalling through treacle. State schools lack funding in terms of the arts. Comprehensive education should, by definition, consist of an accurate cross-section of society. Artists are unrepresented within the comprehensive education system. So comprehensive education is, no longer comprehensive.

The seemingly ever expanding populism of late, exists even within the art world. Just tune into Radio 1 on a Tuesday afternoon, and you’ll find yourself greeted by a sea of commercialised pop. An engineered, consumer driven system, creating popularity from nowhere, and encouraging conformism within the population. Conformism is not always a negative thing, don’t get me wrong, but conforming to predetermined social expectations, of beauty. Masculinity. Treatment of others. And the same damn melodies with slightly varying lyrics auto tuned over the top. A publicly funded platform of distribution, that force-feeds mind numbing, nonsense. Do we drive popular culture, or does popular culture drive us?

I think that maybe, we can trigger change through the arts. And why? Because art makes you feel. It’s all very well going to protests, and reading Noam Chomsky. Education is fucking important. Shout at the top of our voices, and make banners the size of houses (or a one bed flat at least) But art can change minds. Subtly nudge those who straddle the fence, even just to think. I don’t know what the solution is. I really don’t. But for me, art is the key. We, the people, will be the revolution. We can change the world. Go to protests. Keep making art. And dear God, listen to Radio 6 once in a while.

But I have an unnerving feeling that I’m just preaching to the choir.

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