I read (largely skimmed) an article in ArtPapers written by Vincent W. J. Van Gerven Oei. It’s basically about an artist who became a prime minister in Albania. Oei covers quite a lot of themes in the article, and it really got me thinking about the context of art and power.
Of course, art is powerful, but how often is it put into the real world audience to have real world power? Featuring this artists’ rise to power and use of art within that power is important because art largely finds itself as a critic of politics rather than a contender of politics.
Where does art seem to have power? We can put art anywhere. Have you noticed any stickers in train stations? Pen drawings on walls? But who looks at it? Plenty of people look at these bits and pieces of art, heck plenty of people go to galleries and museums, but what portion of those people digest the art they see?
It seems to boil down.
Then consider the art itself. Is a critique like a burnt flag more powerful than a contemporary depiction of a historic moment of a country’s past?