art and totalitarianism

Let us say one is an artist in a totalitarian state where the content of all art production must serve the interests of the state. The state punishes deviation from the central interests of the state and artistic freedom judged irrelevant. The artist either works within the boundaries enforced by the state or makes herself a master of irony. Masters of irony do not come our way often. That leaves the greater majority of artists creating their art out of love for art, yet subordinated to the interests of the state. Can this second kind of artist, the conventional, fettered, and dependent artist, be considered an artist?

I say she can. The artist works within boundaries and constraints, whether state imposed or not. Complete freedom eludes even the greatest artists. Take the poetess for instance. How can she avoid writing about love?

Published in: on July 25, 2008 at 11:27 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What you say is true.
    I attend art school, and so often I find myself and others chastising the ‘commercial’ artists out there, in order to fit in with the conceptual standards of the school. I like your idea of boundaries- and it is true that it applies to every artist and their practice.

  2. Lauren,

    Thanks, for validating my point. I checked out your blog and really like it. I am definitely going to link to it.

  3. Thanks! I’m more than happy to return the favor! -L

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