“Art has to dominate everything…and art has to be empowered”
We’re always on the lookout for interesting videos and new art to share with our readers and recently we came across a video of artist Jonathan Meese being interviewed by Vice Magazine. In his opening statement for ‘An Abstract Look at Art’, Meese declares “I do what has to be done. I am metabolic, and I believe in the reign of art.” We were intrigued…
Throughout the 14 minute interview, Meese does tend to over-exaggerate his point but here’s our opinion on just a few of the key things he had to say:
“Art is metabolic”
Whilst we’re impressed by Meese’s clear dedication and passion for art (he calls for all politicians to resign so that art can reign), his statement that art is metabolic got us thinking…
Metabolism is defined as ‘a chemical process occurring within living organisms in order to maintain life’.
We considered that a canvas could be considered a living organism, in the sense that you keep going back and adding more to it to ‘bring it to life’?; and maybe the application of paint or other media can be considered the chemical process; in that sense, then, Meese must be right that art is metabolic.
“You cannot be a professor of art…it’s not about experience.”
I’m sure those of you who’ve dealt with academics in art would agree that it can be frustrating being marked down for your art, since surely there is no right or wrong in art? That’s why we sort of agree with Meese when he says “You cannot be a professor of art”. Everyone’s interpretation of art (and what constitutes art) is different…so who has the authority to call themselves a professor of art?
There have been numerous news stories about child prodigies holding their own art exhibitions, so it would seem that Meese may be right again in that art isn’t about experience – some artists work for years, some are only just getting started, some gain huge media interest and others don’t.
There is no room for religion or politics in art – “art is neutral”
Meese makes a couple of comments which might surprise or shock, such as that the Swastika is a “completely natural symbol” and that Hitler “isn’t a problem in art”. Some might consider Meese slightly crazy but we think we understand his point...
Without us to project our own beliefs onto symbols and paintings and give them meaning, they are completely neutral. Everyone has different interpretations; for example - what might be considered a religious symbol in one country could represent something offensive in another. Therefore, if we stripped away all the knowledge we have about the Swastika and what is stands for, it would be a completely neutral symbol. Pretty similar concept to that in our ‘What is Weird Art?’ post from October 2012!
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