I discovered this quote the other day:
"Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact." William S. Burroughs
Topical in the current state of political parrying we are in... Sadly though a politicians 'changes' can impact an audience so negatively that it seems flippant to balance that experience with art however much we'd like it to be that easy..
The only thing I do believe is that an artist constantly responds to society and the world that they are inspired by and inhabit creatively.. Politicians? well I don't think they do. They are indeed only ever seemingly reactive and energised when on a campaign trail - surely the meeting of the 'people' and conversations of their promises and aims should be forefront throughout their stay in power.
Perhaps however it is more convenient to lose promises by maintaining smoke and mirrors as your forte of communication to the world. At least when an artist puts something into the world it is there permanently (unless of course you're having the same problem as these curators and conservationists but that's another story: Soap, Chocolate & Dung)
As an artist you often accept commissions and offers to create something within the community - this is always a unique opportunity as too often art is behind shiny closed doors and windows.. But.. when a community is struggling to survive the backlash is often very real - as in the case of this retaliation to a corporate sponsored art project in London this week:
So who does need art when your most immediate issue is that you need a home to live in.. And why do artists continue to create art works when there is so much poverty and issues throughout the world that are crying out to be addressed practically. I suppose each and everyone of us on this planet has different ways of surviving and different powers for initiating change.
Those supposedly in positions of leadership are in my mind lacking in having any real power. That is why we as creatives and artists need to keep on being an integral part of the world in the only way we can.
It does not mean that I do not care or wish to be able to give people a home if they need one or find a solution to eradicate poverty - it is just that I am limited in the tools and power I have. But through the skills and links that I do have.. I will carry on and passionately so. I am under no delusion that my artwork is politically dangerous or ever going to have the capacity to make leaders tremble. But by maintaining my creative process and helping other artists, I am in support of those artists who are rocking the boat significantly.
I sign off by raising my hat to Ai Weiwei amongst others whose words below show his gentleness in the fight he is fighting.. and that is real power..