Sunday, May 14, 2017

Peter Waples-Crowe exhibition illustrates power of PC as well as dingo's

If you say to leftie arty types that the arts are dominated by political correctness and that merit hardly gets a look-in they'll deny it, then usually change the subject. If you keep pressing the point they often roll their eyes and sneer at you. Push it further and they might even get a bit upset and claim that meritocracy is a "white male concept" (no kidding).

The reason the claim makes them so uncomfortable is because they know it's true. They've totally buckled under this creepy, toxic and divisive ideology. The more ambitious among them have decided to go hard with it, using it to further their own careers.

But it clearly bugs a lot of them deep down, because it's so ... dispiriting. Why even try to be good at something when you know it doesn't matter? These days, as a criteria for "success", merit is nothing next to the identity of the artist.

But success still implies merit, right. How could it not? So to "succeed" in the arts you've got to pretend that your main aim is excellence (i.e. great skill), and avoid admitting that being politically correct is what you're mainly focused on. 

To give you an idea of just how significant identity politics is in the arts (and coverage of it), have a look at this article about Indigenous artist Peter Waples-Crowe. The whole piece is about his sense of marginalisation as a queer Aboriginal man, which is clearly the main theme of his exhibition. I suspect it's also why it was chosen for funding. (That's not to say that I think he's insincere about it -- just that identity politics is a huge factor in decision making in arts bureaucracies.)

The article, which is like so many on exhibitions and performances, includes next to nothing about whether it's any good, or even tries to be. It's all about identity politics. And it has this vivid illustration of intersectionality:

"I'm an Aboriginal man, but I'm a gay man. That puts me on the outside," he says.

"I'm inside the culture because I'm Aboriginal; I'm outside because I'm gay.”

I'm inside gay culture because I'm gay, I'm outside because I'm Aboriginal.”

Alienation of this kind and intensity is nectar to a cultural Marxist with nice big pot of your money to throw around …

He adds:

"In some of the Aboriginal stories across the country the dingo is seen as a shapeshifter. In the day, we see it as a dingo, but at night it can become whatever it wants to be. I've often seen myself as a shapeshifter."

I don't think he's the only one. I suspect that many of his fellow artists are “shapeshifters”, too. Deep down they know the PC way of doing things is a load of bollocks, but they pretend otherwise so they can get grant money, win awards and gain kudos. They do not express what they truly think and feel through their art because they know doing so would be a bad career move at the very least.

And they don't focus on honing their skills because they know this won't help them either. That's a sad state of affairs and one of the reasons why there's so much garbage held up as greatness these days.

Call me old fashioned, but I thought art was about transcending differences and speaking to deep human experiences with skill and courage -- not reconfirming them by obeying politically correct dogmas.

1 comment:

  1. This is a good analysis of modern art- be the biggest victim and who cares about the art. I don't mind some modern art, but when the artist is more important than the art, it is usually a good bet you can stay home and not be missing anything.