I may be an art major, but I know a little something about economics.
I've done my homework. I know that money is power. And I know that this power is unevenly distributed in our un-egalitarian society.
I also know that "High Art" helps buttress this power. Through complicity. Through cheering it on. Through participating in the investment game. And through its snobbish, elitist treatment of anything that fails to meet its arbitrary standards.
Another thing I realize is that the division between "High" and "Low" art is just a reflection of what occurs in society. Namely the oppression of the "lower" class by the moneyed bourgeoisie. They feel that one class is "better" than another because it can appreciate the "finer things," and the other cannot. This is a way for the "upper" class to justify the oppression required for it to remain the "upper" class. Art fuels this in part by being class specific-the sole domain of the bourgeoisie. Make no mistake, "art" is not the universal category it claims to be: every survey of attendances at art galleries and museums demonstrates that an "appreciation" of "art" is something restricted almost exclusively to individuals belonging to higher income groups. That is, aside from the artists themselves.
The attitude that one class of people is better than another is precisely the logic which oversaw the rise of the Nazis in the Germany of the 1930s. You see, I've studied history, as well.
I refuse to participate in this social construct. That is why I've turned my canvas to the wall. But where can I turn for an ideologically coherent discourse to support my views?
The Art Strike 1990-1993, that's where.
The Art Strike offers the most aggressive and consistent critique available of the status quo of production and consumption and its power structure. Before you make your final decision, write one of the Art Strike Action Committees. YAWN has an address list available. Drop YAWN a self-addressed, stamped envelope today.