Friday, November 27, 2009
"...you have treated the arts as the cherry on the cake; it needs to be the yeast."
I really enjoyed this video. Mallika Sarabhai is an amazing speaker, largely due to her performance background, and is adamantly dealing with a subject we are all plagued with in this globalized society. There are things we know and dislike about the world; statistics, images, stories; these problems that we know must change together. To help people, to help ourselves. She suggests that art is the platform for this transformation and thus calls for placement in the forefront of humanity's plans for positive and effective change. I think very highly of what she is doing; making an active decision to be the change she wants to see take place. Taking ultimate responsibility for her dissatisfaction in our world.
But what about the artists, like myself, who don't deal with overtly political subjects in their work? This video made me confront myself and my work - if art aims to be and is the "yeast" or progressive ingredient for change, what do my images and words contribute? What is important for me to propagate, and how can I do this in a subtle yet effective way? Really, what am I fundamentally dissatisfied with in our world?
True, we need to be the change we want to see, and yes, art is the platform, however, I think as an artists/writer it is important that we make a conscious decision as far as the battles that we approach. We need to find our appropriate level of involvement, so as not to be overwhelmed with this huge world we're dealing with - which as we know is not an unlikely or uncommon occurrence. I guess this video most importantly urges us, as artist of any type of work, to remind ourselves of this power we potentially possess. Lest we forget.