Thursday, August 27, 2009

Not good ...

... Glenn Reynolds draws attention to this: NEA conference call directs artists to push the Administration’s agenda on health care and the environment.
Artists shouldn’t be used as tools of the state to help create a climate amenable to their positions, which is what appears to be happening in this instance. If the art community wants to tackle those issues on its own then fine. But tackling them shouldn’t come as an encouragement from the NEA to those they potentially fund at this coincidental time.
And if you think that my fear regarding the arts becoming a tool of the state is still unfounded, I leave you with a few statements made by the NEA to the art community participants on the conference call. “This is just the beginning. This is the first telephone call of a brand new conversation. We are just now learning how to really bring this community together to speak with the government. What that looks like legally?…bare with us as we learn the language so that we can speak to each other safely… "
Glenn also links to these: Pushing Artists to be Political and The National Endowment for the Art of Persuasion?


  1. Journalists opposing artists from becoming propagandists? hehehehehehehehehe ... oh, my sides.


  2. Well, bear in mind that this journalist doesn't think journalists should be propagandists, either. But least the journalists do it on the own. Artists - if such they are - should be appalled at the suggestion. And are you seriously suggesting, Blue, that you wouldn't be enraged if such a proposal had been made by the Bush administration? Stop funning me.

  3. And yet, not that very long ago, the NEA came under extreme attack from the right wing of Congress, led by Sen. Helms, precisely because some of the NEA-funded artists were making political statements about free speech and sexuality.

    The doublethink is pretty laughable.

  4. But even Helms never suggested that the NEA was soliciting the art. And this is an instance of asking artists to go to work on behalf of an administration policy proposal. I actually don't think the government should be in the business of art patronage at all. Curators do a bad enough job without getting bureaucrats involved to do an even worse one. As I have said before: Go to the Phillips Collection in DC and note the contrast between what Duncan Phillips collected and what has been collected since. One final note about NEA sponsored transgressive art: I'd like to see who would be yelling if they gave money for an Andres Serrano-like treatment of the Koran.