Thursday, November 10, 2016
Is there art left? Don’t know, there is NASCAR, There is peach marble columns, and gold elevators. There are bad racist jokes that I made as a teen before I was a man and knew their shame. There will be WWE matches, football games and beauty pageants. Certainly these things have ascetic value of a sort, but are they art? There will be burnt effigies. There will be protest songs. Installations meant to remind us of the suffering of others. There will be choreographed political actions, die-ins, mock trials and the like. These will represent issues in creative ways, they will have an attractive and repulsive aspect to them by design. They will be intentional and thoughtful and point at things bigger then themselves, but are these art? There may be more sinister things as well. There may be the ruins of burn down buildings, standing silently reminding us of a world that was. There may be new uniforms, dark and clean, for a soldiers not yet minted. There may be empty fields and shuttered libraries. The skeletons of will have their own grotesque beauty. But are these art? There will be photography. Pictures of crying faces, of laughing fools. Pictures of raised fists and riot gear. Pictures of fires burning or rage made manifest and hatred given flesh. There will pictures of babies wailing and old folks looking away regretfully. Hell, most of these have already been taken. They will haunt us, they will pull at are humanity, awaken out empathy and inflame our indignation. They will affect us, but are they art? Since my oldest child first appeared on the sonogram screen I have written every day. I have chosen to participate in being by adding what I could to its collective beauty. Today I didn’t write. Not as protest, not because I had nothing to say, not because of my broken heart. Today I didn’t write cause the day simply passed by and beauty never raised her face to greet me. These words are born only from beauty’s new, and terrifying silence. Are they art? I look forward to the day beauty smiles upon us again, hopefully we will meet her as an old and sourly missed friend, and hopefully that day will be soon.