Ideas Agora

Today we ask you to jam in a different way: you can open yourself a brand new discussion to share your ideas or join already open discussions below.

The focus:

We, the people of culture, let our fragmentation reduce our impact on society.
What is the first thing we need to do to reverse this trend? To become a "we"?

Change the story

How do we change the world? Change the story. The greatest illusion of this world is the illusion of separation.
Charles Eisenstein  

My question is:

How to change the story of contemporary art that is out of the cultural policy incubators and laboratories ?

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Replies

  • When artists rely on funding sources that are linked to any type of set policy initiative there will be bias towards the particular agenda of the organisation that is proposing the funding. On many levels I do believe that more opportunities to explore creativity whether through a set agenda or not will fuel creativity. Although there does exist an element of who has the privilege to truly break out of the proverbial 'boxes' that agendas tend to form. In itself this box creates an element of understanding the art and develops an even more creative narrative. The story may in many ways become more beautiful... or it may be stifled.
  • Once everything fails, and the complexity outstrips any effort to reconstruct reality in an intelligible way, then it can be noticed that the need for a new narration is referred to again. The European Union has been struggling to stay convincing. However, governance, and working together, is not to be reduced to a mere story. As if making a film, Hollywood has always been good to give this advise, but then it is merely a matter what has success at the box office. Real work means to identify first of all what problems have not been defined because too many critical people have been sidelined and silenced. It is well known that catering to the interest of the European Commission means engaging in a fateful top-down process with the policy makers wishing to appear as if successful. Thus real failures are never mentioned. That means a lot of important experiences are not brought to the attention of one another, and therefore also not to the policy makers. Instead of contradicting the neo liberal policy makers, artists and cultural workers have adopted such slogans as creative industries, and this while especially youth unemployment is sky rocketing and Right Wing politicians can exploit all kinds of insecurities by adopting one brand, namely 'anti politics'. Where is the artistic expression based on a belief in life and in humanity? How to change things? Artists must give people self confidence to cope with complexities of life. They need to understand in what world we all live in and set constraints as to what a real solutions.
  • Hi Lana, thanks for your question. There are layers and layers of untold stories under the earth in Africa, in Europe, in Asia, in Russia. We stumble, we bump into things, we miss out because we didn't hear those stories, they didn't get heard or read. I work on the question of artistic mobility and I consider that mobility, storytelling and the way we perceive "proximity" of people and ideas is key to our future...don't know quite how yet...still thinking
  • What do you mean for " contemporary art that is out of ...". Thanks, luca
  • You made we think of a sentence by writer Jeanette Winterson:
    "There is always a new beginning, a different end. You can change the story, you are the story".
    :)
    • I agree with your statement above it it encouraged me to join the jam, one of my own blogs is titled 'No Endings Only Beginnings' Here in the UK it is very a one story situation, the way Nigerian writer Chimanda speaks of this, our scenario here in the UK arts is not at all reflective of of the stories I and many others would want to express and and many other artists from across many others communities ..I do wonder if this is the case further afield across Europe, in the wake of economic upheavals e.g. mainstream art institutions have reverted to a conservatism that only caters to a monied elite and promotes a regression to out modes and discredited hegemonic presentations. The progression needed i.e. innovation, intercultural and critical collaborative dialogues are at a significant all time low. The opportunities to be able to access and engage with the arts, satellite ever more within ever decreasing circles of privilege and entitlement by those with the money. Hence the 'one story'...Aesthetics become narrow and are more mainstreamed by discourses framed in the mainstream media and often are not artist led.
      • I agree that there's a generalized wish of making things simple and having one single story, one single way of doing things, etc. But don't you feel in minority communities a lot is going on? I am a part of the transfeminist LGTBQI activist scene in Barcelona and, although mostly ignored by the rest of the world for most of the time, there's a lot of artists doing wonderful stuff, telling other stories, challenging mainstream views...

        Of course, there's the danger of living in a bubble, but it's good that the bubble exists and we can get to breath a little bit, even if it's only among friends and allies.

        On the other hand, a part of the counterdiscourse is pervading the media, and some of the "general public" is started to be interested in less mainstream stuff. I'm not sure if this is how it is or how I want to see it :)
        • We have likewise in cities such as Berlin or Athens diverse activities, but while in Berlin many artists have gained over the years reputation and a name, it is for newcomers very difficult to exhibit as non commercial spaces are becoming rare. Gentrification is the name that is unsettling Berlin on a massive scale and so those who make it copy in reality the same marketing strategy which says if your painting does not attract the attention of a passer-by within five minutes, you shall never make it. This drives things in a direction of superficiality and negates the real sense of the arts. In Athens it is even more difficult since the art galleries selling art works have nearly all folded while money is only to be obtained through the big benefactors like the Onassis or Niarchos foundation. This means a semi private-public institution imposes the rules of the games. When graffiti exploded in Athens, the cultural centre of the Onassis foundation organised immediately an in-door graffiti display with the effect to separate the so-called artists from the vandalists. It drove a wedge into the communication pattern which had become quite loud when walking through the streets of Athens. The point is how to respond to the cleverness of the system which knows how to divide and rule. At the same time, the Berlin discussion about the 'city tax' is about distributing money for the artists, but that public discussion is then only exclusively the privileged of the well organised artists while those who wish to do their artist work do not find anymore the continuity they need, in order to stay connected. Hence many good artists are lost and never reach the public attention. By extension, you can also discuss the role of curators and museums trying to keep up with the commercial need to earn money by having block buster exhibitions. It silences a lot of contemporary art.
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