The impossibility of being pertinent, relevant as an artist in a society that is living in denial is something I have to struggle with. My era simply has no hope, we believe that the way we are leading our lives is heading to a crisis point, where the existence of humanity as we know it, will no longer be; death of all or majority, destruction or massive reforms will take place. Yet we see the impossibility of making any changes that will actually stop this crisis. We are so entrenched in the decadence of our lives, and feel so little power to make any real change that we can foresee no outcome other than disaster. We hope for major reform, but do not believe it will come about. What do we do when our civilization is crumbling and showing signs of collapse? The same thing that Rome did, we live as though there were no problems. We make art that has no real relevance, to our times or to art history. It may just be the pessimist in me saying that my generation will leave very little to art community of the future. The art of my era seems narcissistic, comfortable and at times haphazard. When there is so little substance, it will likely fade away as history rather than inspiration. That being of course there does exist a society to look at this art.
Maybe I am an idealist, I would like to rally to a cause, having strong philosophies and principals with which to work. I choose not to “eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die”, yet I also hate to harp on “the end is nigh”. Do I make work on death, doom and gloom? Do I choose to ignore my societal era and make work solely on personal experience and expression? Do I make art relevant to social political justice on a small scale, choosing to ignore this imminent collapse? How can I speak for a general society that does not speak for itself, that does not reflect me? Is is possible to speak for a culture I feel I do not represent?
And yes, being an artist after post-modernism, being post post-modern, was always going to be a problem. When every thing is art, where do you go from there. When you loose the idea of linearity, how to you carry forward, when you no longer believe that you are getting anywhere? It isn’t that we have done a poor job of figuring out what being post post-modern means, it is more that we have simply ignored the question. It is akin to the question of the possible end of civilization, rather than tackle it, answer it, try to deal with, we try to live life like it doesn’t matter, like there will be some miracle cure, like the way we are living isn’t the exact cause of the problem. The deep dark scary questions we choose to ignore. The questions which answers would require self-evaluation, self-critique, and radical change, we dare not ponder. Answers might arise that we would have to act upon.
The answer to those questions is not pretty. Humans, as we exist now and how we live, deserve to perish. There are too many humans, using too many resources, causing too much pollution, who as a whole are aware of the situation, but due to personal and collective selfishness, are unwilling to change the problem. And those who are the most to blame reap the least punishment, or that has been the case thus far.
And I am left wondering: What the hell do I do.
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