Today I finished the image for submission to the Penticton Art Gallery’s show in protest to funding cuts to the arts and various other “human friendly” organizations. The first stage was to revisit the image that I created and make it more easily visible on a 10 x 13 format. Financial considerations must drive so much of what I do. This size allows me to use an already purchased frame that I hung in the Show Home for Homes for the Holidays. It also allows me to create the image on the printer in my studio and not have to pay to have it printed on canvas over a stretcher frame.
The snow plow has scooped up funding for various organizations in order to clear a path for “the games.” My submission involved research as well into various sociological terms and texts that helped to formulate my artist’s statement.
“Bread and circuses” (or bread and games) (from Latin: panem et circenses) is a metaphor for handouts and petty amusements that politicians use to gain popular support, instead of gaining it through sound policy. The phrase is invoked not only to criticize politicians, but also to criticize their supporters for giving up their civic duty.
In modern usage, the phrase has become an adjective to deride an infantilized populace so defined by entertainment, instant self gratification, and personal pleasures that they no longer value civic virtues and the public life (not necessarily accomplished through deliberate pacification by politicians but through the popular culture itself). To many social conservatives, it connotes the wanton decadence and hedonism that defined Rome prior to its decline and that may similarly contribute to the decline of modern society.
Hofstede’s 1993 “Cultural Constraints…”
The degree of inequality among people which the population of a country considers as normal: from relatively equal (that is, small power distance) to extremely unequal (large power distance).This represents inequality (more versus less), but defined from below, not from above. It suggests that a society’s level of inequality is endorsed by the followers as much as by the leaders.
The degree to which tough values like assertiveness, success and competition, which in nearly all societies are associated with the role of men, prevail over tender values like the quality of life, maintaining warm personal relationships, service, care for the weak, and solidarity, which in nearly all societies are more associated with women’s roles. Women’s roles differ from men’s roles in all countries; but in tough societies, the differences are larger than in tender ones.
The government’s attempt to bulldoze a path to the Olympics by cutting funding to create, to educate, and to care for citizens will leave an economically costly swath behind. Caring gestures and gentle intersessions provide enormous financial benefits.
All of my working life I helped teenagers in distress. Project Overcome was a US pilot project that took bright teenagers on probation, living a basically hopeless life and taught them art and music. They saw the power, the joy of learning and of expressing themselves which saved society money in probation officers, court time, counselors.
A decade spent in the North allowed me to work with some living in unconscionable conditions. By experiencing the rewards of disciple, they learned the satisfaction of putting on a play, or playing in the school band. They were lifted above and beyond the boundaries that were defining them. Cutting school programs to the arts will cost society money.
As a video making, acting and creative writing teacher in Rutland Senior Secondary I witnessed the arts allowing the student to conduct a very necessary examination of value systems, to see the importance of an individual assuming responsibility for his or her choices. Through the arts, they began to forge a more knowledgeable and more personal sense of being in the world. The results saved society money.
Glowing Hearts Bulldozer: Quo Vadis
digital photographic print, limited edition print with certification of authenticity by artist
framed 17 ¼ inches by 14 ½ inches
ink jet with archival paper and ink
After completing my entry and sending it off into the world of air and hope, I tottered out into the world in order to mail christmas cards. I felt so fragile and unprotected. I could only hobble and crossing the street seemed eerie and strange after being in bed for eight days. I purchased three flowes, a vitamin drink, chocolate pudding, a gossip magazine and shakily climbed the stairs to regroup.
After dinner, I found through face book that Salmon Arm’s Art Gallery is having a post card show, so I snuggled into my down covered nest of pillows and worked on a post card which has as its topic :Wish You Were Here.
Creating art is healing and energizing. I felt quite content to sleep after my adventuresome day. It is so very quiet in my isolation that I can hear my own drum.