Thursday, July 17, 2014

Step Aside


This is a detail from a piece with the working title "Removing Art."

I've been thinking about how religious subcultures relate to art. One way, one phase, is removing it. This is sad. It can be devastating. It can be small minded and stupid, and often is.

And. . . it can also clear space for something different, something new, like forest fires re-calibrate local ecosystems. Is there a place for book burning? Flag burning? Our most sacred personal, religious and national symbols deserve respect but also reexamination and challenge from time to time. Jesus kicks over the money changers' tables in the temple. Hooray say the artists while the business people scratch their heads or call their lawyers. But...

If I, as an artist, am unwilling to accept the possibility of (let me say it stronger -- if I don't expect and look for) times and places where removing art or music is the right thing to do (rather than making or promoting it), I may find myself in the same boat as the money changers who could not imagine that what God desired might require them to... step aside.

(Please excuse the Melvillian hack of a run on sentence.)

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