[The Seven by Nine Squares home page] [YAWN 33] [Art Strike 1990-1993]

Response to What Makes Art Strike Such a Bad Idea?

Doris Rowe, 63
Retired teacher
Gore, Okla.

I don't think he knows what he's talking about. The Art Strike is not a 'work of conceptual art.' In fact, the only 'artistic' thing about it is only that it is done by 'artists.' Some people say that 'art is what artists do,' but I don't believe it. Are you prepared to call it 'art' when an artist puts out his dog or brushes her teeth? No sir! The rest of us have been on 'art strike' all our lives! I just have to applaud anyone concerned enough to want to change things.

Gino Straniero, 55
Letter carrier
Holmdel, N.J.

He's right when he says there's a problem with the 'Karen Eliot' persona. The problem is that it has become too much associated with certain people, which undermines the participants' intentions. There can be no middle ground in using these collective single names, if they are to be effective. 'Karen Eliot' is dead-if you want to start using a new name, make sure no one can tell it's you. I recommend 'Anon.' myself. I use it all the time, except now.

Claude Jackson, 39
Auto worker
Highland, Ind.

Art Strike is a bad idea. Huth misses the point. It's a bad idea because most 'artists' are 'individualists,' and therefore lack the solidarity necessary to participate in an 'art strike.' So as a practical matter, 'art strike' will not work. But this is not to say that it will not have some good effect, for it will. It already has. People are really talking about serious stuff for the first time in my memory. Huth wrote his article, didn't he? That should tell you something.

Milton Bins, 56
Deputy director
Washington, D.C.

If Huth's 'proletariat' is too 'stupid' to understand the Art Strikers' 'manifestoes,' it doesn't matter, because the 'manifestoes' are not directed at non-artists. It doesn't matter to the Art Strike if folks like me don't know anything about it, because we're not the ones with the problem. Those who cast themselves in the role of 'artists'-and folks like Huth, who buy into that attitude-that have the problem. And it is they who need to examine what they hold to be true.

Myrt Bauer, 45
Real estate broker
Moraga, Calif.

It's true that 'art strike' doesn't solve any problems with art. But I for one never look to art works for solutions to problems. The most an 'artist' can hope to do is point at a problem and suggest that it needs to be looked at more closely. Besides, there may not be a single 'solution' to the 'problem' of art. I'm the last person to impose what I think should be done on everyone else! No one has to go on strike-or even think there's a problem-if they don't want to.