I am guilty as charged; guilty of leading a half truth life of living as a artist-philosopher, spending my days and my time inventing false ideals, the artist-poet as a self destructive bohemian. I have lived myth, never intentionally, but somehow it always persists in my practice as an artist.
It’s no wonder the Platonic notion of the poet-artist as a liar is so pre-dominate in our culture today. This idea that those who are not engaged in useful occupations that will provide some type of salvation for the community at large, still weigh heavy in our cultures thoughts. Artists are often asked “do you make money from your art?” What the person really means to say is “ If you are not making money, you are a mere hobbyist”. So the artist-poet will often engage in a “job” that will give them the appearance of being useful, they will take to teaching, they will take to creating work that stirs the community at large to a higher realm. Is that just as much as a lie?
One might think that the lofty ambitions of creating work that works as a medium of prophecy or as a means of a wider and much deeper way of seeing and thinking, would be a goal for the artist-poet, they would therefore be serving a valuable economic function with their work.
Perhaps now we have created a world in which art and poetry cannot exist unless it makes its bed within the realm of the betterment of human civilization. This type of work is at best a still born child, and at its worst a malformed child. The very fact that this type of work is demanded by society at large is not at issue, what is at issue is the appalling fear and lack of critical thought that occurs when the artist-poets buys into this lie and succumbs to making work that meets this economic model.
Artwork today that dominates the galleries and museum is a work that is dominated by overemphasizing the philosophical side of art. That is not to say that the artist-poet should avoid having philosophy, poetics, theory inform their work. What we see now is a meat sandwich made primarily from the lexicon of historians of a genre. It would be apt to think of the poet-artist as the giraffe and the art historian or English literature professor as the zoologists. They study what we as artists-poets do, but now artwork and poetry has become a bastard child of those myths or ‘truths”.
How can the artist-poet just make? To free themselves dictates of economics of value of what is produced be a factor in the production of their work.
I know that I exist in both worlds, I want to communicate, and often times with my own work I hold back, for fear of misunderstanding, fear of someone misreading one of my videos or collage. It’s pure foolishness on my part. I am the rebel artist, who over dramatizes the irreconcilable conflict between subjective revolt and the mitigating restraints of objective reality, guilty as charged.