Saturday 5th of December 2020

when painting kings on horses, painters were not allowed to include horseshit...

live  

"No longer are we surrounded by fields, woods, and rivers, but by signs, signals, billboards, screens, labels, and trademarks: this is our universe."

Jacques Ellul was a pseudo-Christian renegade anarchist philosopher. He is most famous for his quote:

 
"No longer are we surrounded by fields, woods, and rivers, but by signs, signals, billboards, screens, labels, and trademarks: this is our universe."


Is this where we're at in regard to beauty and expressions of our universal understanding of the world that we have modified? Do we have to live — or let other people live in the squalor of indian slums or the Rio favelas — in the castles of England upper class? Is art going to save us? Did art save the Renaissance?
Many of our lovely cities look like Steptoe and son movie sets, with all the signage, the electricity lines, the cable TV and posts, the patched-up roads, the cars that are from different eras — some of these being so dilapidated and rusty they are half-way to the junk yard — to the majority of higgedly-jarring mix of buildings with less than harmonious extensions looking like coloured containers about to fall into the sea. And there are dirty bins/garbage bins of various kinds in which we are supposed to throw trash but usually miss because they’re overfull — and lets not forget the mess made by tags from graffiti “artists” (vandals). Even our great glass-covered buildings look dusty because of the foul air of our annoying cities, looking like decay with shopfronts. Trying to find art in this mess is difficult, or is everything we do artful?

The farmers can still enjoy the fields, the woods and the rivers, though most of the time, in Australia, they battle a dust bowl from near-incessant droughts, and the farmers’ slanted corrugated iron rusty sheds complete the Steptoe landscape in the middle of nowhere. And the rivers are clogging up. The Murray is dying tomorrow. The beauty is to be found by artists in search of a moment to represent a heart/brain-felt emotion/intellectual conception. So, either we accept the average rubbish that we are and that we do, or we paint idyllic scenes of landscapes that we never saw.

Amongst all this artistic activities, the buskers, now disappearing because of Covid, used to entertain crowds in the round, with simple tricks — some learnt at clown schools, others invented from mono-cycling at altitude, while juggling a few balls on fire. Very skilled. Don’t try this at home… And there are theatres in which plays, about our miserable life resembling that of glorious kings, are staged. Actors and performers express what a composer and a writer have polished with chosen exactitude. Art seems to be in motion and is delusional, but we want to be entertained as we have too much time to think about nothing.

Luck comes in at this stage:

How we made: Take My Breath Away, the Top Gun theme tune by Berlin…

Giorgio Moroder: ‘The lyrics were written by a guy who came to fix my Ferrari. It won me my third Oscar’


https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/nov/16/giorgio-moroder-take-my-breath-away-top-gun-how-we-made-berlin-tom-cruise


With luck, we turn food into an art form. The simple tART becomes an expedition into the refinement of taste and beautiful symmetry. Science becomes a student of ephemeral beauty that we find at microscopic level where life is resilient and aggressively so — and happens at relative cosmic level, where human senses do not make any sense. 

Meanwhile, politics is a powerful art form that relies on greater ways to imagine the possible without ever reaching it with a deceit element. We hope. Hope is deceitful. Hope isn’t imaginative. Trying to make something good with imagination is positively artful.

"News" and politics are brothers in arms. We need the news to tell us that our king/ despot/president is a dickhead and that the next one is far much better… The news is an art form where time spread and gravitas will be equally applied to the death of a hundred people in a war-zone as to a golfer shooting eight under par, at the Masters. News on TV depends on the availability of pictures...

And we, old folks, are glue to the art of the news as if we were on heroin. The younger generations now get their fix of digested information (news) at the moments of their choosing, on their thumb-phones  The art of Google and Facebook control what you’re going to see. With twitter you will be allowed to comment as long as the comment is within the regulations of being democratically stupid.


Then there is the noise, the chainsaws, the leaf blowers and the traffic… the planes and in the 1960s we had the typewriters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgCXogoiffk) and strangely enough, the various interpreters of this “Typewriter Symphony  seems to be the most skilled at doing it in their own style, including choosing the variety of the apple at the start. I’ve seen Johnathans, pink ladies and on this one performance above, a Granny Smith — a tip-bearing apple cultivar, which originated in Australia in 1868. It is named after Maria Ann Smith, who propagated the cultivar from a seedling. This is gardening art for you.

And voila, this is what art is about — from the crass (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZqZgmpq1nw) to the politically sublime (http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/40006#comment-51132) with Marie de Medici at Marseilles… and there is the weird (https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/the-garden-of-earthly-delights-triptych/02388242-6d6a-4e9e-a992-e1311eab3609)

Of course, when painting kings on horses, painters were not allowed to include horseshit. Modern painters would — as a comment on social values. 

So, there are several layers of arts, performance and acting, and of the historical ages...



Balla faced a few more hurdles over the years — including the university cutting the Bachelor of Performing Arts in 2013, and its decision to combine theatre and performance into a single major during Balla's studies.

And while Balla is now about to finish their honours at CTP, with a thesis exploring how theatre can be used to empower young people's climate activism, their plans for postgraduate study are in disarray. 

Monash University has decided to close the centre, as a result of COVID-related budget pressures that are forcing it to cut 277 full-time staff members across the university (public universities are not eligible for JobKeeper).

Balla's story, of the ground beneath their creative ambitions constantly shifting, isn't isolated. 

It's part of a pattern of cuts that are posing an existential threat to the already narrow pathways onto Australian stages.



Read More:https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-14/australian-theatre-impact-of-covid-19-funding-cuts-youth-theatre/12871604
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From about 12,000 years ago till the 19th century in the history of humans, most of the arts have been mercenaries to the powers in charge, be the wizards, the Royals and/or the Churches. Peasant folkloric music and dances had to be approved. We had a glimpse of freedom during the Thespian times of Greek theatre around 600 BC, a theatre revolution during Elizabeth the First (a revolution soon to be controlled by the state (Herself) and the subsequent English governments) — then a renegade period of the pre-impressionists such as Monet and Rodin who came to light for about two seconds of art history.

Soon the freed arts became slaves to the galleries, the ticket sellers and vinyl-pressers. Artists even sought recognition from the academies while telling the academies: "get lost” with some controversial works… The cads… Entertaining episodes of endeavours but full-on mercenary stuff, eventually, artists framed themselves with just a question of making a different style with repeats. “This is my style”… Thus style becomes more important than substance. We’ve all been there… These days, I see an exhibition and think in the depths of my secret despair “why bother”… I would be too flippant to say I’m right. The explanation is that I’m old and I have seen everything (not quite) under the sun of “what’s next” in my dreams.

Yes, I mean slaves, not “dependent”. Basically, the arts — as a means of freedom — are fucked. They should not, but they are such as they fit neatly into our democratic platitudinal system. Otherwise the artist does not exist in the doorframe. By this I mean that acceptance/rejection of the "arts” depends on a lot of factors, most of which are dependent of the state and/or private galleries owners/theatre workshops, promoting something to make a buck, to sell colourful rubbish that we love because it brightens our room. Nothing wrong with this. Even grey-monotone is colourful… We, avant garde artists, are in the same boat. We laud a Van Gogh for not selling any of his paintings to anyone (but to his brother), yet we want more than just be an artist. Art can be crap, passable or great and every shades in between... We want (possibly by need of cash and fame) to be a grocer as well: "How many of these Nature Mortes (still-life paintings) do you want me to place in your bag?” Aren’t I good for painting green apples like soccer balls? Don’t you see that the cricket bat in the middle of the strawberries and cream is a meaningful representation of humanity? My brains melts with envy… I did not think of it.

So how do we learn about becoming an artist, or are we going to become a performer/entertainer?

One of my friends watching a perfect rendition of a Rachmaninov Concerto was a bit dismissive… There was no invention in the rendition. Great feeling though... Everyone in the orchestra had to perform according to the clever score precisely written. And this included the conductor who could deviate a little with the tempo but no too much. The public is expecting a performance as written by the composer — a work which they have listened over and over with recordings. They know the piece. They expect perfection in the linearity? Is a recording an art form?

To some extend, this defines the various branches of artistry, broadly split between those who compose (and starve food and fame) and those who perform, training their fingers and brains to be as accurate as possible to the flypaper notes. Many painters become prisoners of their own style — even styles in evolution, following a clear set of steps in feable experimentation, without an ounce of intellectual value. I stink.

This is why old gus can be dismissive of some artists. I shoot myself in the foot. I am a grumpy old fart and enjoy being an annoying critic of those with little creativity, making repeats and copies of their own failures. They are basket weavers. Nothing against basket weaving. We all need baskets. But ultimately, for Gus, art is a philosophy that breaks the boundaries of our comfort. This of course is a subjective attitude from Gus who rarely tries to win the academies over, but once a year will deliver something to be rejected because it does not fit the mould… despite brilliance — if I say so myself.

And at this stage of art appreciation in our time, the blancmange or the amateurish wins over the truly creative adventurous. We like decorations, not challenges on our walls. Architecture has a set of rules that may be looser than the other art forms. Films are a commercial low class act in the art spectrum, mostly designed to play on our emotions rather than our intellect. 

On this site we have explored many artists and their works — as to appear “erudite” (we’ve learned our lessons) see comments…


GL.
Old Sable Brush handler...

rubens...

rubens medici

 


some art and philosophy from YD....

gone with the wind...
And god sends us the plague, again...
of women, murals and robots...
venus, cleopatra, judith, salome, susanna, herself in oils... and more beauty...
of henri weber and picasso...
as time goes by...

 

don't panic. the end is only nigh-ish...
letambour, expertise and gas...
one never knows the end of stories...
not just the end of humanity as we know it...
the false daylight...
from a ceiling by rubens to dad's army and everything in between...
the goddess with the many boobies...
after the mardi-gras, may as well wave the white flag...
the gates of hell in a coronavirus epoch...
this is insane...
we're dead forever...

 

prometheus and a sculptor called lipchitz...
on the french riviera, the infinite mediterranean sea...
of the bitter-sweetness of life...
science is brutal... and of the birth of fake news and of the seasons...
Even the arts become (always have been) mercenaries of the corporates…
happy birthday, ludwig...
at the gallery of commonality, multiplicity and solidarity...
what is philosophy?...
Performing hallucinations…
the great masturbators in silicon valley told to ease up...
The goal of this article is to figure out why sciences are not appreciated as much as they should...
god's empty nests...
painting a blue room in a sinking house on a beaut day...

 

from the big bang to strippers: why we need more scientists....
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players... for you and us to create OUR peace as one...
the dog on the tucker box...
welcome to bondi — the thought police...
reviving the ugly past at the new york times...
like a seagull on the wrong side of the window...
shock result for harry potter after bidding war for being vacuous...
lollipop music like turboprop toys for a worried transport magnate...
a crocodile enters into a pub...
bereite dich auf ein schmutziges england vor ...
the dollar dollop...

 

a giant cartoonist... james gillray
happy like a wrinkled pumpkin rotting on a heap of pH deficient manure... (updated)...
of arts, expressions and politics...
writing on the wall...

 

and plenty more... including:

 

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/38241



GusNote: I took the picture at top especially to illustrate the article...when painting kings on horses, painters were not allowed to include horseshit...