Ian Are You a Creative?
The world of artistic creativity was once a hive of intellectual evolution and provocation. Great artists were sacrificial, lived in near poverty and were committed to developing their cultural identity. One could consider they were mavericks, anti-establishment and had no care for the consequences.
Wallace Berman is an example, a crucial figure in the history of post-war California art. And following his passion meant he was caught up in censorship: and other conflicts with the establishment. The Sex Pistols enjoyed a riotous method of anti-establishment art using provocative song titles: and do not fall into the trap of thinking they were McLaren’s puppets. John Lydon’s words and political views of the 1970s have an almost frightening insight into today’s political landscape. Henry Miller: also determined to become a writer: living in poverty and often near to starvation: moving to Paris living in squalor: his censored books published in Europe and smuggled into America. Joe Strummer of The Clash was known for his political views. Four of hundreds of artists who used their work to oppose the establishment.
Filmmakers contributed to exposing social discord with their work: director Ken Loach made many politically driven productions: Cathy Come Home and Kes are films of immense social and political implications. John Walsh’s Tory Boy an eye-opening satirical view of an election campaign.
Authors have a long record of anti-establishment writing. Ignazio Silone questioned Italy’s fascist regime. The list of anti-fascist German writers is extensive: Theodor Adorno, Günther Anders, Hannah Arendt, Bertolt Brecht, Hermann Broch are the beginning of the list of people who risked life to appealing for help and guiding humanity to see the future horrors of a government-controlled state.
We are in an unprecedented global situation. Records of and genuine thoughts about this crisis will become an important archive. More significant the opinion, and more radical the creative thinking exposing the human’s need for freedom overwhem’s their fear of death the better. Although, it seems essential to move away from unprovable supposition or conspiracy theory: it seems these nonsence aspects will become seeds of abstract or ill-defined art which few will understand: although, everything is relevant. Words and visuals, offering an artistic interpretation of the crisis, will become recognised as expansive recollections and memories to future generations.
Snapping a few images the city: sneaking up on a stranger and recording an expression is straightforward. Today the digital camera can blast away ten frames a second and focus on the eye faster than a speedy thing. There is nothing complicated about photography: video: and recording the voice or making music. Recording media is as easy as plug-in and play. Images of the silent streets, empty highways and lonely people abound. It is easy to record the images everyone has already seen. A real artist has to go beyond the already recorded.
Snapping A Few Images is Easy
Derek Jarman’s work evidences a real creative mind can use cheap and straightforward tool to produce commercially viable films. Using a Nizo Super 8 camera to make films which are recognised as artistic masterpieces. Subjects of Derek’s work were as varied as Gay Rights: Political opinion and Gardening. He was a brave man and a great intellectual. He followed his beliefs and has left a unique legacy. He recorded the mundane and distorted it to become a statement and the mutate into ART.
Andy Warhol: an artistic genius: used every method of creative media to produce his work. He followed a path unique and influential. While I’m not writing, he was a political artist. The inference is he used many conduits of creativity to become acknowledged as one of the best-known creatives in history. Warhol knew continuous evolution is the way to longterm success. Andy’s timeline involved: paint and canvas, silk-screen printing, photography, moving image and finally pop-art style portraiture (the commercial enterprise earned him over a million dollars per annum). Yes: it is accurate to suggest he was money motivated. But none can argue he followed a singular and determined path. If one view his catalogue is is easy to see political and social statements influenced his work: and thousands of people resonated with the inference of his output.
Today many people think picking up a camera, or tapping keys are sufficient to be called an artist. In reality, their work is self-promoted on social media platforms, weblogs ( such as this ) and self-published books and magazines and mostly without payment. All credit to those whose hobby is centred on making their work visible. But on the whole: the output provides evidence of competency, nothing more. All should be congratulated for the endeavour. But what is being produced? Is the work influential? Are social or political comments or stories or images being made in the art?
Reviewing a beautifully composed or brilliant written piece will have a purpose. The purpose of visible or intellectual reward. But how often do we involve ourselves in a work which makes a powerful social statement? How many videos are unique and are not recycled storylines? Very few.
Are we at an epoch? A monumental moment in time? No doubt a turning point: a maelstrom whipped into a frenzy by fear of infection and death. Social systems fall into an abyss. Life is about to change beyond all imaginations. Many have time available, and challenges ahead are without a president.
Livelihoods are becoming decimated: the cascade of money on which our economies float are drying up: and soon, western economies will enter recessions more catastrophic than the great depression. In this arid desert of poverty: life and death will be as one: and finality of life considered as a blessed release from a horrific life. Poverty, hunger, debt will be compounded by debt collectors who’ll take houses for a few thousand dollar credit card loan. Never has there a better time for the vultures to pick the bones of debtors. The rich will become wealthier, like hyena’s pickings the bones of those who choose to live on credit and loans.
A fertile ground of artistic, creative imagination is evolving. Never have I realised there is so much reason to create and realise the potential to write, record images and produce videos of silent protest. No bomb or ordinance has better ability to inflict attrition and destruction amongst innocent people than propaganda. People are not secure, the virus-fear hammer will smash and break the confidence of millions. Blow after blow inflicted by crazy blacksmiths wielding the hammer of establishment anvils: which are quarantine and lockdowns.
Where poverty burgeons, injustice thrives. Protests and anarchy are futile. The hammer is mercilessly used to break the minds and convictions of those who resist social restraints. And so, the creative mind must become awakened. Unconscious minds helplessness and angry will awaken like cactus seeds lying dormant in the desert. The tears of sorrow, uncertainty and frustration water the imagination. And the creative is tasked to produce the most thought-provoking rebellious symbolism.
Protest against the spurious policies and manipulated figures is pointless. An artist has an option: the power to project thoughts, ideas, opinion into symbolic reference. There is no need to be right or wrong: one should know, artistic work, to be effective, must come from the inner-being. If the desire is to make a statement and one which contains hidden messages and unconscious symbolism: then create after long thought and mediation on the focal point of the piece. And then produce work evolved from a free-flowing mindset. Think of nothing bar the act of creation, and one may realise extraordinary and influential statements.
I write this in a free flow – without editing or thought to reason. The words are a statement for me: I asked my inner being to talk to my conscious mind. Nothing more arises…