Sunday, 28 September 2014

On politics and art

Politics is the study of control.
Art is the study of life.
Politics loves systems.
Art appropriates them.

Politicians speak out loud.
Artists whisper in corners.
Politicians whisper amongst themselves.
Art shouts in new colours.

Politicians tell us we’ve never had it so good.
Art asks us to define ‘we’, ‘never’, ‘had,’ ‘it,’ ‘so,’ and ‘good.’
Politicians send us to war.
Art is a war against itself.

Politics is all about money.
Artists burn the paper it’s printed on.
No politician ever showed the world their unmade bed.
Artists write their own headlines.

Politics creates schisms.
Art revels in revealing them.
Politics is the art of opposition.
Opposition is the politics of art.

Politics sees no beauty.
Art dismisses the concept as unreliable.
Politics commisions pictures of ministers.
Art gives the politicians what they think they want.

Political manifestos are masturbatory pamphlets with stuck-together pages.
Art is ingenious, incessant intercourse between nations, strangers, ages.
Political speeches climax with sweat and applause.
Art can be two minutes of squelching noises.

If Damien Hurst makes a tree out of diamonds in a forest, and no Saatchis are there to buy it, is it art?
If a prime minister averts a slide into poverty by self-denial, is it politics?
If a Chinese artist is denied a visa, is that a political or artistic situation?
If a government wages war on its poor, is that in fact a Futurist statement?

Politics is about who writes the next chapter of history.
Art looks forward to ripping the words up and making a collage.
Politics moves in its own circles.
Art has a million pathways to a million truths.

Politics is statistics.
Art resists this.
Politics kills.
Art lives.

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