Saturday, October 28, 2006
Dim in Dallas
For what ever reason I've come this story nearly 2 months late but it still has me rattled. The Times ran a story in September about the Dallas area school teacher of 28 years who lost her job do to some ingnorant evangelical scum. The crime - the Dallas Museum of Art, rather nudes on exhibit at the museum - time honored 'pornographic' works such as these. The action by the 'concerned' parent further illustrates just how childish and repressed our population has become.
Tyler Green has the latest critique of museum director Jack Lane who in a pathetic parallel of the Mapplethorpe scandal, shrunk from his responsibity as museum director and a member of the community by not defending the artworks on display and his institution. Not so much as even an op-ed to engage the philistines about why certain works belong to the collection. Not a peep as to why historical pieces have educational merit for a civilization. Instead the artworld proves again and again how seperate it is from the culture at large and continually shows how weak it actually is. We don't need to hear the 'art is good for you' rap but why not some dead on adult discussion about how art functions? About why it is critical. That it is not a therapeutic salve for the masses or just some exotic pretty shit shoved in an expensive building to make you feel 'cultured' for an hour or so. Art has a real function so why won't these administrators clue some people in? Are they above that? Do they think average people can't handle it?
There is an enemy out there - yes, a real firebreathing meta-physical enemy that wants art to go away - our Taliban, the religious right. Trust me, it is not post-modern in nature and can not be discussed away. For now they play by the rules, manipulating the system like getting qualified teachers fired through litigious threats. In the future they may be sending in thugs to 'purify' the place. Think it is a crazy minority? 40 million people is a pretty strong power block and their off spring are getting more 'crazy' - just watch JesusCamp- that is for REAL. For now it just may be a seed but more is on the way.
Artists and institutions need to get engaged soon because they are one of the first lines of defense for a democracy, and generally the first to be persecuted.