Tired of reading tracts in defence of the status quo at Oslo Art Academy on issues of diversity. Privileged Liberals quoting Orwell, abstract expressionists romantising other peoples struggles for equality, making pronouncements from imagined neutral lofty perches.

Anyway, Inspired, I wrote a little something. It’s still a little clunky in places..but I think it’s cute, might remove it later — idk.

Artwork : Robert Montgommery

ALL PALACES ARE TEMPORARY PALACES.

A relevant living Art is, by definition, change. It may eventually fix itself in time, but it never arrives fully formed. This change, in Western Culture at least, traditionally starts in our art schools. Radical hotbeds of trial and error, exploration and experimentation, -an arena where risk and failure is necessarily encouraged and played out. Rewards come later. They shouldn’t arrive, on the backs of the privileged. Nor should the bodies of the privileged, expect to enter an environment where those inherited privileges are expected to be maintained by fellow students or staff.

Up to this point, we’ve never experienced a society where power and equality, were distributed equally, or where there was even a pretense that this was the case.

We have the same systems, conditions and structural mechanisms in place as all other advanced western democracies, the same privileges and disadvantages, the same needs and greeds and demands as are currently playing out in the US, the UK and many other countries. We’re on the same path..with the same power imbalances and we’re seeing where that leads.

So when demands for “change” “equality” “equity” and “greater diversity” in certain fields arise, particularly those fields that have traditionally shaped the culture we move through, we need to embrace them. Don’t let those who believe we’ve already distributed enough power, enough freedoms and enough diversity, to dissuade you. Don’t let those whose minds have ossified into the status quo, into current conditions, into stasis, be the ones to manage change in art schools, in minds and bodies, don’t let them be the ones to manage resources and power and gatekeep the distribution of capital, whether social, cultural or financial. No genuine living art can survive these conditions, can be relevant to the times.

We have never had a community or system that genuinely embraces and promotes anti-racism or diversity — at best, we’ve created enclaves of none racists, noncommittal. It’s a simple call that’s been made, let’s try it, and see where it leads.

One of the conditions of accrued capital -capital in any form, whether inherited or earned, embedded in acquired power -must be to reach a hand down, as opposed to pulling the ladder up, which is increasingly common with middle class gains. Don’t let this be about you, about “possessive individualism” -but about a cause, a simple desire for fairness. Fairness shouldn’t end when you have your fair share -but be distrubuted.

Let’s support those who are pointing out inequalities in the field, who can see our blind spots -and join them in creating enough momentum to reach that critical mass that forces change.

To those artists sitting on the fence or championing a perverse form of anti-anti-racism, I’ll say this, under current conditions, you will never accrue enough wealth, enough power or enough influence, to inoculate yourself against the coming changes. The further you pull up the ladder, the wider the gap that will be revealed -and the more determined and greater the demand for change will become. -eventually you’ll find yourself alone up there — in your palace -without any foundational support.

Your only hope of relevancy, your fall.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store