Art as activism

“Everything you can imagine is real.” Picasso.

To counter the evil emanating from Putin’s brain, and many others like him right now, we must keep believing that as artists we can counter this force with an oppositional creative and positive energy which is ultimately stronger. Otherwise, why bother to do anything as an artist? Just to reproduce stuff which looks a bit like other stuff which sold quite well?

I propose a new (personal) manifesto for artists living now which goes beyond the mere words of itself and creates a synthesis of ideas as a catalyst for new thinking.

A Call for the Logical Necessity of Art

We need to bring contradictions together to imagine new possibilities.

We seek:

art with commitment

art that cares

art that builds bridges between people through responses

art that seduces through beauty

art that surpises and delights

art that goes beyond optimism

art that lodges in the brain longer than you want

art that is needed like food and drink

art that includes everyone who sees it

Asad Rehman of War on Want says neo-liberalism has stolen our imaginations of how things can be better through a financial system designed to be opaque and obscure. People’s imagination is under attack on many fronts and our job is to re-kindle a hope of better through seeing reality with child-like eyes.

There is so much good still in the world which can inspire us to make more. Sci-Fi writer William Gibson wrote in the 90s “The future is already here. It is just not very evenly distributed.” Moving beyond the material bias of this statement, let’s distribute a re-imagined, more fully human future in the art we make, remembering that everyone’s experience is made up of encounters with things worth remembering…

Not forgetting to also look out for our fellow human beings on every practical level that we can.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Picasso.

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