Friday, April 12, 2013

ART BLOG: Hegemonic Zeitgeist

Definition of HEGEMONY
1. influence or authority over others : domination
2. : the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group

Years ago, I knew a school security officer who went on a crusade to make sure all the staff parked correctly. He sent emails and memos warning school staff about parking procedures. He wanted everyone to know it was against the rules to park your car so that the front end was facing out of the parking space. In other words, NO PARKING backwards! According to him, the was a security issue. Oh..........OK.............whatever. I wondered why he wasn't concerned about the real important issues of school security.

It seems things and a lot of people are like this now. Everybody needs to assert their own brand of "bossism" on whomever will listen. We all have jobs. We all have certain responsibilities. I have encountered so many who are at such a loss and feel so powerless, they tend to overstate the little power they have. Consequently, we hear overstated demands and power monger requests. It is their last ditch efforts to feel important or relevant.

We are all guilty of this to a degree. I know I freak out when students put brushes upside down in the brush cup. In fact, students laugh at me at times because I go on and on about putting markers in the PENCIL drawer. Yet, there is more to this story.

I recently had a discussion with an art gallery owner. It was obvious to me he didn't know what he was talking about. However, I kept my mouth shut because he had some kind of weird power. He has a gallery. I don't. Therefore, I was mum. He rejected me after it was all over. Actually, I was relieved. I felt bad midway through the process. I knew all this was not for me. I knew he didn't understand my work. I knew, I didn't respect his gallery work. It was all good and ended as it should. I felt GOOD about the rejection! The thing that made me think twice was this POWER issue. He said "NO". That was the power he had. In other words with all the things going on in the world, he used her piddley power to reject me. I equate that same gesture with the kid who works at Burger King and told me I couldn't have a second salad dressing with my salad. It seems we have all fallen into a trap. I see a hegemonic zeitgeist. We, our societal pulse, longs for some kind of control. We want our own power even if it is menial and petty.
We need to STOP.

We all have power. I just hope we use it well.
STOP the negativity and avoid using your little bits of control to alienate people.
If we all do this, the world will be a better and a much happier place.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Art Blog: Pure Creativity

Before I say anything, I would like you to look at this work. What do you think? Do you have ideas about the artist? The work?

This week, I viewed a documentary titled "MAKE". This film documents the works of a few outsider artists. One artist in the movie is Judith Scott(1943-2005). Born with Down Syndrome and rendered deaf after suffering Scarlet Fever during infancy, she lived with her family until age 7. As was the custom of the time, she was put in an institution around 1950. Also, she had a twin sister, Joyce.

Joyce endured emotional pain being separated from her twin, Judith. Finally in 1986, Joyce became Judith's legal guardian and took her home to live with her family. Joyce enrolled Judith in day care facility for the disabled called "Creative Growth". It was quickly discovered Judith was not a painter. She had no interest 2D art. However, she started collecting objects from the studio and began wrapping and knotting. The works above are just a few of the hundreds she made over the last years of her life.

The reason I wanted to write about Judith's work is because I am fascinated by the fact she didn't call herself an artist. She didn't really know what art is. She just had the compulsion to create. She had a ongoing creative obsession. If you have the opportunity to see the film "MAKE", you will see she is very self driven and possessive of her art works. She was not being guided to do the work. It was her work.

We know so little about our brains and creativity. We all have notions of what it is to be creative. We all have our opinions about who is or who is not an artist. However, people like Judith are here to remind us of how we know so little about real art or the seeds of creative process. Her work has given me new thoughts and ideas about motivation and my own inner longing to MAKE art. This is Judith Scott, the artist.

Click to go to the "MAKE" website to view the trailer of this documentary.