Archive for month: November, 2014

Reconditioning

Reconditioning the mind requires living outside the box.

In both creativity as well as in plain madness.

After all people pay madmen to show them a new way.

That is why there is an art market.

Still, there must be that moment of awe if there is to be Read more

Nietzsches Madman

The idea that was launched by Nietzsche’s madman in 1882 that God is dead [1] is clearly a paradox, since if he has died then he must have been alive at some point.

Of course this makes no sense as God is supposed to be eternal.

 

What the madman was referring to is the death of a shared belief.

Nineteenth century Europe had reached a point with science and philosophy where God simply wasn’t at the center of everything anymore, man was.

Man filled the void that was left behind.

Man turned to nature through science and in doing so killed God.

 

The difficulty that religion and mysticism has is that the focus is on eternity and this afterlife can be seen as a denial of life itself.

As life occurs now, in this moment, not in some imagined future paradise.

 

Nietzsche was also making a statement about intolerance and the lack of ambition to do anything other than to live in mediocrity and conformity.

To him this meant existing within a ‘slave mentality’ that is led by fear and superstition.

The only way out was for man to kill God, only then can man live.

 

The freed man becomes an ‘Übermensch’ (literally translated is ‘Overman’ but is often mistranslated as ‘Superman’).

Zarathustra is Nietzsche’s spokesman who encourages the Übermensch to overcome obstacles and fear with will and courage.

His ‘will to power’ refers to ‘fearlessness’ with true power being self-harmony, self-control and self-realization. [2]

 

While we are trained from birth to live in accordance to the ‘slave mentality’, many of us escape.

If we become creators we can give our world meaning according to our own rules.

Those who have reached the status of Übermensch, are those ready and willing to serve at the same time that they are ready and able to lead. [3]

 

By channeling will and controlling passion we can create something greater than ourselves.

Nietzsche’s madman was mirroring a new world.

Zarathustra speaks to those who find the courage to listen.

Only then is the creator truly unleashed, by his own will to rise above and express his own truth; free to depict his own world without fear.

My path from classical figurative sculpture to my present work, the Spirit Collection, is telling in many ways.

  1. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882), section 125.
  2. Michael Macrone, Eureka!, Cader company, Inc. 1994.
  3. Friedrich Nietzsche, “Zarathustra’s Prologue”, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883).

By Blake & Boky

Art Activist

“What artistic activist aims have in common is a faith that awareness can change the world without any specific follow-through. This is magical thinking.” [1]

While dreaming is quite fitting when discussing artists, the idea that there need not be a specific follow-through is ridiculous! Awareness is a first step but it simply isn’t enough.

Knowing about an issue does not bring about a solution, but it is a start.

According to Duncombe and Lambert, the success of an activist art exhibition can be judged by:

-How much press it got, which would bring public awareness to the issue, but does it automatically bring about change?

-Whether it made people think, thus starting a discussion on the issue.

-Revealing some hidden truth regarding social injustice or corruption, still there won’t necessarily be a transformation just because the cat is out of the bag!

-Expressionism; if the work triggers such strong emotional reaction then it is considered a success; but just because it made me shudder, was the problem fixed?

Activism in art is the reflection of the terrain of warfare having changed from the fields to the venues that provide a new battleground. The goal is social awareness in the hopes of engendering action.
Educating the public on political and social issues can bring about change, but it is only the first step.

Whether we are dreamers who believe in magic or whether we have a more concrete plan with a proper follow-through program that allows for a concrete solution or not, the fact is, we are all trying to bring awareness and make this a better world.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of art activism projects around the world.

The Fragments series is intentional art that aims to shed light on the issue of landmine clearance in post-war areas where military waste was left behind.

We need all the press we can get and hope that the public will reflect upon these issues and join us in this battle to put an end to the killing fields.

Still, for Fragments it doesn’t end there.

The exhibition is only the beginning.

Raising funds to clear the fields is the intention and I think we can safely say that we are succeeding.

– 2007, the Fragments campaign identified and destroyed 318 unexploded weapons in Quang Hung Commune in Vietnam.

– 2008, the Fragments campaign provided funds to the Canadian Landmine Foundation for mine risk education in Afghanistan.

– 2008 Fragments also funded a Landmine Survey that identified 522 Suspected Hazardous Areas in Moxico province in Angola

– 2009 Fragments took part in in funding clearing NATO- dropped cluster munitions in Kosovo.

– 2010, Fragments began support in Cambodia through The Cambodian Landmine Relief Fund.

 

We would like to see Fragments get back to work and are introducing the program in Canada.

We will see a Fragments campaign in 2015.

I am proud to be one of those dreamers and it is my deepest hope that this trend in art will continue because art is about humanity, it has power, and that, is magic.

If you would like to get involved please write us, we would love to hear from you, we can use all the help we can get!

 

  1. http://www.onlineopen.org/columns/activist-art-does-it-work/4

By Blake & Boky

© Copyright 2017 Blake Ward. | Atelier Blake, 5 rue des Violettes, Monte-Carlo, Monaco 98000
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