Politically art that drives me

February 6, 2008

Song & video by Will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas.
Inspired by Barack Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’ speech.

This inspires. I don’t mean to bring politics into my blog, well no, I do, but I bring this also as a work of art. Yes, you can call it propaganda and to many it probably is. But I believe it, I remember the speech, I’ll remember where I was when it was given (New York City) and I will look to it and this video when needing courage and hope in that better tomorrow for this country. I support Barack Obama!

Thank you Dipdive for giving this to the people.

YES WE CAN!

(I had to find it on youtube to be able to host it here. Does anyone know how to embed on wordpress from the original site, dipdive.com, so I don’t have to find it on youtube?)

Ps. what is of relative value to this blog is the artistic merit of such a video. Is this art? Is this just propaganda? Or better yet is it just an advertisement, and therefore should not even qualify to be art as its “purpose” is not artistic. But is that so true and furthermore who defines an “artistic” purpose. In looking at this (and I know it is very hard for me to separate my own political bias from it, so I do understand that that is in this next statement) I believe it is art. It is raw emotion, harnessed by the creators and yes it does support a politician but it also supports so much more. I see real heart in this and would argue that the emotional energy used to create and give this project to the world places it squarely in the realm of art, perhaps a subgenre of political art, but art none the less.

Happy Super Tuesday everyone!

Huysmans

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The Overwhelming and political art

December 24, 2007

Starting right now I am going to beginning documenting reviews of events, shows, movies, books, and so for that I come across in my artistic travels.

For this first review post (of which the reader must be absolutely aware that I am in no way a reviewer and see this more for me to place ideas and thoughts about this piece as the connect to the greater discussion of the culture of art, but anyway in some fashion this will represent a review) I will comment on a new work off Broadway titled The Overwhelming (no link because today was the last showing, they have already taken down the site) by J. T. Rogers and directed by Max Stafford-Clark. The play is currently running at Roundabout Theatre’s Laura Pels Theatre in midtown New York. But enough about its logistics on to why I liked it.

The only real reason I am choosing to bring it up is, well two reasons. First it played with the form of drama in a rather interesting way. First the characters were not afraid to interrupt each other and all talk at once, there were many dialogue sequences with multiple speakers, thus leaving the audience confused as to who to focus on. I am an audience member who likes to be confused. Second the final sequence of dialogue was interrupted by the speaker’s decision to focus his speech on the audience, not a new trick, but an extremely effective one. He was telling us that we’d forget about it, that we’d go back to our lives. The play itself is about Rwanda and the genocide that occurred; the events in the play coincide with the months leading up to the beginning of the genocide in 1994. There were some very powerful quotes to be taken from this play, among them were the ideas of peace, war, strangers, American involvement in foreign affairs, and so on. Questions that are prevalent today and that last act by the character to turn to the audience made that fact abundantly clear.

The second reason I bring this up is that it is a new work, using a political theme to present a message, a very traditional play in some sense but one that is of our time, and I am curious about that power it currently holds. It received a standing ovation, but did it receive it because of the true genius it portrayed or rather because of its significance for our current situation? What I am really getting it is were we not in a war, and were we not dealing with American involvement in the Middle East, involvement to the extant that it is greatly dividing our country, would this play still get a standing ovation?

Does that answer really matter?

(To be honest the first thought that comes to mind is the fact that this has strayed from being a review, but I like where this is going so forget my review idea for now, this has become an artistic discussion and will be filed under such, now back to the discussion.)

I am curious what people think in regards to the current importance or rather the current message a piece has. Does this work backwards? If an old piece that was considered bad art from yesteryear, today become extremely powerful and poignant, would we reconsider its artistic value?

Just some food for thought while we all prepare to feast on the holidays.

Huysmans


Placing journalism in art. Can you?

November 15, 2007

Can journalism be art? And by that I have no intentions as to how to respond to such an open-ended question. But for myself I am asking from a few discussions I have recently partaken in. There is the aesthetic element that goes into reporting the news, but also there is the literary element. How you write, how you express your opinions, how you organize what is written? All of these have aesthetic elements but do those elements make journalism art?

 

The newspaper became part of art with Picasso’s collage. Where is it now and can a journalist be an artist? What about a news reporter? Benjamin wrote that it was fascism that made politics art and thus created Triumph of the Will. But perhaps journalism had something to do with it as well.

 

 

I don’t have answers yet as to the connection between journalism and art, but at the very least I do not think they are completely separate.

 

 

Thoughts?