Actually, art is integral to politics. It is not that one must pursue a “message” in the traditional, Marxist diligence of past decades. Politics is a word which means of the people.
Art is the soul’s work. When a person is deeply in tune with their own song, vision, cosmology there are two divergent sources. One is interior. The soul that speaks is unique and in my belief system (which could be wrong) it carries over from life time to life time. It is unbending, unerring and distinctive.
At the same time, one’s soul is like an infant floating in the social milieu that one is born into. There is nothing more awakening in life than traveling to other cultures. I liken our view of reality to that of fish swimming in an aquarium. We do NOT see the water. We think it is invisible. However, it is that through which we view everything. Simply put, it is incorrect to drive in the left lane. It is incorrect to live at home until one is married. It is incorrect to squat on the ground for social events
Culture shock is when one runs up against another picture of reality and withdraws in protective shock.
The artist lives in the antiderivative area.. between two curves. We use the culture to explore self. We use self to explore culture.
The zone where self disappears is where the self emerges. When I am fully focused, I am aware of no self. There is the surface, my brush, the contact between. There is no “market”, no “target”, no “finish point.”
So how does the political life influence art? It is when we begin to see ourselves as caretakers of the “water” or the social atmosphere in our political aquarium that we start to understand and protect our art. To take action politically is important if one wishes to live in a supportive, inspiring environment.
The task is to maintain balance. The task is to walk the area where action is taken to help to create a better world without being strident. Defensiveness and militant mind-sets only create walls.
As an artist and as a citizen, I see a world of bridges crossing the spaces between and over obstacles. Grace, skill and compassion will bridge obstacles. Balance allows one to live in a world of creativity both as an artist and as a citizen.
I have learned to ask the question, “What are the consequences… the LONG term consequences of my actions this day?”