Saturday, August 9, 2014

Fundamentalism in Art: A local view.

noun: fundamentalism
a form of a religion, especially Islam or Protestant Christianity, that upholds belief in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture.
strict adherence to the basic principles of any subject or discipline.

We live at a time when the basic Abrahamic, tribal, sheep-farmer religions have become hopelessly outdated. People are becoming more unorthodox, leaving religion, or fundamentalist. The latter have spread rapidly throughout the world in the form of radical Islamists and Christian fundamentalists (of all stripes). By going backward, they are returning to a simpler time or starting over, shuffling off the "untrue", "disbelievers" etc. Fundamentalists believe they and they alone know the truth, and are entitled to force it on others.

This has happened many times in the art world. People holding on to things calling those who are evolving in the present/embracing the future false, forgetful of the principles, etc. Invariably, they have ended up steamrolled by the future. A lot of this has to do with identity through tribalism, and it is of the most primitive version of "think as I think".

The tell-tale sign is that they are not content with leading by example. They have to call out others and question, and attack their ideas, usually under the guise of ethics. At the humble, local Bay Area level, one would think everyone has bigger problems, but amazingly this still happens.

All people who make art are artists, and since "Art" is not very well defined, that's a big umbrella. Stop questioning the authenticity and legitimacy of others and worry about your own.

--- Luis

Stay curious, my friends.

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