Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Art at the ART

Working in the arts often means that there is controversy, dialogue, and broadening of horizons and minds (hopefully that is created in reaction to the art. All of this is good. Even controversy. It gets people talking.


There was an event that happened mid-performance of a show at the ART in Cambridge. Cambridge, home of Harvard, home to leftist political minds, home to artists and performers. The ART - well known for putting on controversial, edgy, sometimes too edgy, productions. Taking all this into consideration, one would not necessarily think that a production at the ART, in Cambridge, that had some swear words in it would cause an uproar. But it did. Well, it did for some Christian group that went en masse to the show and then decided to destroy the production, literally in one sense. Here is the link to the clip of what happened that night.

This saddens me as the attack became personal. I fully support both the process of creating art, and the process of forming an opinion about the art. You don't have to like something just because it is art. However, you do have to respect the art form and artist. I have been to many productions, some of which I did not like, some of which I left DURING INTERMISSION. Never during the performance, and never in a manner that degrades the artist or destroy the art. Just imagine walking the halls of the MFA and deciding that a Georgia O'Keefe painting was deemed offensive by an onlooker, who then poured water all over the canvas. I think that he/she might find themselves in a whole heap of trouble. What happened here to Mr Daisey should be akin to that.

I just always end up shaking my head when I realize that very often the self-proclaimed Christians are the ones who act the least Christian-like.

So Mr Daisey tracked down the "Christians" to talk about what happened. Of course, they were reluctant to discuss what they did until he had to thinly threaten them with the fact that they destroyed his work, then they sort of agreed to talk to him. Apparently they defined themselves as Christians until the reporters started calling, and then they had to admit that they were actually a public school group (!!!!!) and they were concerned with the "safety" of the children. I am just horrified that our country is falling into the trap of fear and ignorance that our fine leaders have cultivated. How does one fight this? How does one overcome ignorance and hatred? I think that Mr Daisey sets an excellent example for dealing with people such as this. But I really don't know how this can be reversed....


Caroline said...

Ever since 9/11, the concept of democracy and free speech seems to be steadily eroded over time. Funny when you think USA was founded on the principle of freedom from religious persecution.
No one was forcing that public school group to go to the ART exhibit so they were not within their rights to protest at all. If indeed it was swear words they were protesting to, they might as well as sue the entire country of the USA including the President himself.
Repeated airings of the Virginia Tech shooting video on daytime public television that could greatly traumatize young impressionable minds of children, now that is something to protest over, through legal channels, of course.
There is a reason why law and order exists - to maintain, well, order within society. If everyone decides to take the law into their own hands, might as well as throw the The Charters of Freedom The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, & the Bill of Rights out the window and just live in utter chaos and anarchy.

La Tanguera said...

I watched the video... awful... absolutely with you there, Deby...