How is Hillary Clinton a politician and not an activist? Because when she conceded saying “Let Donald lead” this was somehow much less an affront to her apparatus than the self destruction that would have come in critiquing the very system in which she played – winning – up until now. Similarly, when Fart Forum publishes politics called art, we see how it is that elections hurt everyone-except those in the habit of speaking casually about great lofty ideas called art, art-working and politics as some secret everything but the kitchen sink recipe. Politics don’t sell a magazine of ads. Politics are there as if to convince the Art World that it encounters the political at all… gifting the wealthy their ‘chance’ or ‘right’ to be political, but only when they feel like encountering this lesser denomination of self.
Artists write lame duck statements because, not unlike Hillary, they work shamelessly within a system that arranges them as the benefactors of violence. These artists wander through a maze of mirrors, seeing themselves on every wall… selling well. Art works for those imagining that the interior of her own lesbian mind or their trans being is a shareable space. Plundering identity as a sales point. But this is not the case. Bard isn’t a sharing exchange… it’s a purchased exchange… such high student tuition could also provide funded positions for students from elsewhere… but the means with which money is made in art-working, who you’re selling to, isn’t territory accounted within the assets of those speaking only particular truths from power.
The luxury of encountering the political versus enduring the political is someone who owns desirable property, vacation houses, pets with passports, someone who doesn’t worry of how to afford assisted living for parents who believe social security is a Ponzi scheme, frequent flyer miles thoughtlessly carbon foot-printing all over the globe… always a reason to be gone… is someone who encounters at will… with whimsy or humor… the means to be inarticulate… while being named political… these are not the words of someone wagered big… in a lottery bet on right winning… unhappy merely winning wrong.
Our Tweeter in Chief is a product of times that support us submerging others… if you don’t worry about how to pay insurance… if you’ve got use for an accountant… if you walk the streets in $400 shoes… if this is not just normal, but somehow feels “right” to you then the political speech act is just a play… a dupe… to make people think you’re an actor in the world when you’re just a player, a player who happened to win.
I too try to refrain from naming Trump, because his name is everywhere always. And talking Trump so rarely culminates in a course of action… most of the art-workers I know aren’t willing to sacrifice anything… except maybe their hope. If I cannot imagine working against this establishment with you there is certainly no point in talking about it to you. We cannot normalize or make regular speech acts of submission to such a puppet. Rich people… those who like to think themselves sensitive artists… love to feel under siege. Prematurely. Vanity grief. Don’t rob me of my misery… a life without misery is-MINE ALREADY. Phantom pains…
The political from an activist is loss… lost time, lost hope, loss of other options…lost voices shouting at negligent ears, drowning the self in a sea of others who maybe need things against our own better interests. When an artist cries political it doesn’t work in this sense of loss… career artist-ing is also about personas being a lifestyle that augments/supports the meaning assigned to the objects made or ordered to be made by the one whose hands are called artist’s. Individuals in careers that require this grotesque level of individualism never speak honestly in the political… because the political is leaving your body… your circumstance… in the greater force of many bodies attempting to speak together.
Post fact. Lying about loss… lethargy misidentified…. to be made great again? The artists playing political sound like Tinkerbells for Trump… there will be so many artists making money from this election turnout… burnout… tweet-a-thon… They will play the role of the fairy taking all the bourgeois artist-born art-kids to Never Never Land where they never never need to encounter the pain of growing old or seeing their investments in violence… the payout of violence… feeling good about avoiding that truth while burying yourself in… yourself.
Artists work in money networks, gossip and shit talk, entirely too medicated… not even expected to make their own work… or pay assistants living wages… while swimming in buckets of money from god knows where… All accumulations of wealth are theft. They say: Who cares what they see in my work… the way the work of my hands strengthens their assets portfolio… and accrues value for them if I’m doing my job right. Maybe she should stop painting? Or would that make the old pieces too precious? Or maybe the luxury of considering whether or not to work should be considered privately if one wishes to be believed living in troubled times… or via?
You cannot see yourself being political… you cannot be political without sacrificing this seeing of self. What are you willing to lose? A sense of rightful accomplishment? A restructuring of the elitism you profit from? Losing your speech platform outright when others concede that you’ve said nothing usable? Where is your money? Divested? Hanging in closets of clothes? Indie-a-gogo’d to some unaccountable documentary film project? Supporting not the subjects but those who made the subjects into resources… who make subject watchable from afar… so so far…
Best to name the self… the bits of self that work with Trump… the bits that were post-fact and profited somehow unscathed by truth. We can learn the terms of today… saying them again tomorrow… trying to forget that meaning changes over night… the same thing said again tomorrow neglects the tasks of what became yesterday. If you cannot bring new words… new meaning… new sincerity to this table, it is perhaps best to remain alone wanking away in the studio than muddying the air between those who have no option but to endure the political terrain of today… where artists seek to sell this moment… represent the movements of those willing to sacrifice the self, their time, their labor to a great moving body… Artists silver spooning it to jaded fucks who would profit in these times regardless who holds the throne of democracy.
Activism is not a media for art-making. Your political persona drag will not increase the value of the pictures you paint… the life art you live… when justice trickles down… you’re going to have to own your criminal complicity in representing this moment as an exhausted yawn instead of an invested heart. We don’t know how far this will go given it’s too far already. There are those among us not struggling to conceive of resistance… who by the very nature of living, embody resistance daring to continue in a world that becomes more unlivable every minute. Can we name them? What should they do with a single nest egg… Like a Raisin in the Sun???
Asagai: Then isn’t there something wrong in a house—in a world—where all dreams, good or bad, must depend on the death of a man?
Beneatha: AND YOU CANNOT ANSWER IT!
Asagai: I LIVE THE ANSWER!
There are, inside those of us yawning for revolution, pieces that must be excised… burnt branded differently… bank accounts made payable to others… reparations for pirating the collective, the underground, those who truly sacrificed their individual… observe now your scoundrel slips of tongue when you wish to be validated for feeling tired… that bit that proves you’ll somehow manage regardless what the world does to others… Art takes the soul out of things… selling this human spirit is a dangerous trade… especially when shielding yourself with inarticulate abstraction that makes your social contract renegotiable, endlessly.
You & I, or we the art-workers, suffer not survivor’s guilt because our lives were never on the line… our souls however are long since gone.