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A Response to the Proposal for Forced Art Participation 1990-2001

At first glance, FAP 1990-2001 may seem like an appealing idea, inasmuch as it is an attempt to integrate the mental set "art" into the daily routine of all individuals. (Although it is difficult even at a first glance to overlook the authoritarian quasi-Fascist nature of the proposal itself.)

But it becomes very evident that the theoretical incoherence of FAP would, in effect, promote the opposite of its intentions. It would in fact be of benefit to the Art Strike in terms of the resentment it would generate toward art on the part of the general populace. The public would (and rightly so!) resent any hierarchically imposed activity, especially one which serves no evident productive purpose. Resentment would lead to extreme distaste for "art" and its related activities. No doubt this would lead more people to reject art, and thus, consciously or un-, participate in the Art Strike 1990-1993.

But let us look deeper. Upon any more than the most casual reflection, it becomes obvious that FAP is based on an implicit and reactionary fear of liberation from the hierarchically imposed vision of the world as having neatly classifiable needs, along with the commodities to answer to those needs. In short, the proposer of FAP 1990-2001 is afraid of losing everything she doesn't have, and wouldn't deserve even if she did.

"Art" is a commodity which "answers" the "need" for escape on one hand, and promulgation of social status on the other. FAP suggests that, by making art a universal activity, the profit motive would be removed from it. But there would still be groups intent upon elevating themselves above others, claiming they alone produce the only "genuine" art. And their work would continue to be overvalued by those with excess money and the desire to invest it in something which will realize a profit and simultaneously enhance their status.

The whole point about the Art Strike 1990-1993 is that it is a means of intensifying the class struggle within in the cultural, economic, and political spheres all at once. If the Art Strike succeeds in demoralizing a small cross-section of the bourgeois class, even if it's only the artists, then it will have succeeded. FAP reads as a very sorry attempt to lend support to the hierarchically imposed ideal of the "value" of art. YAWN rejects this ill-considered proposal outright.

One woman's reaction to the response
One woman's apology for FAP proposal