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Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Year for Social Responsibility in the Arts

By Sian Lindemann, TNNW Arts Editor

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all of our readers at The National Networker. I hope that you had a most delightful holiday season, and that you look upon the new year, 2008, with refreshed motivation.

Courtney Milne Productions Fine Art Photography
From The Pool of Possibilities E Calendar

I am thinking differently about my articles this year, provided to The National Networker. Looking back over the collection of past articles, I attempted to provide access, description, and reference to those artists, painters, photographers and the like, who are garnering a significant income from their work. I also provided the insight and methods on HOW they achieved those results.

Those articles and that information has NOT, markedly increased readership of The Arts and Entertainment Department at TNNW….and I wonder why.

If I were an artist needing edification as to “knowing” that income can be produced in this industry, and if networking among specific arts organizations, is not how any of 2007’s artists have secured their success, then I would ask you the artist, WHY you would not subscribe to our publication to be made aware that financial success in very attainable in this industry.

It only provides the assumption that “income” and sales are not the primary reason that one wishes to have a career in the arts. Income is a bonus to actively pursuing one’s career, yet the discovery that income as a primary result is not very often what motivates an artist to produce.

I picked up two books over the holiday, and wish to share their source with you. Both had a profound impact on my thinking as I enter 2008. The first is a book that was published in 1991 and is titled…

“The Re-Enchantment of Art” by Suzi Gablik

The author, Suzi Gablik speaks specifically to the following need.

“Suzi Gablik's book Has Modernism Failed (1984) described an enervated contemporary art scene. She depicted the post-modernist art world as one in which the revolutionary impetus of modern art had degenerated into a market-driven form of parody and calculated indifference.

In The Re-Enchantment of Art (1991) she puts forward the more optimistic idea that there is indeed hope for the future, but it depends on the spiritual and ethical renewal of our culture, including 'a revitalized sense of community, an enlarged ecological perspective, and greater access to the mythic and archetypal underpinnings of spiritual life. '

Re-reading this in 2007, one has to wonder how much progress has been made towards this 'spiritual and ethical renewal of our culture.”

I find it interesting that in addition to Suzi’s concern to consider the complete spiritual and ethical renewal for our culture, she also speaks about the need to find a “socially responsible” reason for which to create and sell original works.

“I JUST love it when I discover new information that is now advocated in a recently published manuscript, something which I have been advocating for 30 years.” Sian Lindemann

The other book that I discovered is titled,

“Jumping Through the Hoops, Autobiographical Stories by Modern Chinese Women Writers”
Edited by Jing M.Wang

On the other side of the spectrum, here is revealed, and I have only read the Introduction, the reflection of a number of women, who as recent at 1945 were not even able to write in the first person, relative to their “life stories,” based on the culturally imposed limitations regarding personal freedom in the Chinese culture.

We are so incredibly lucky here in the United States, with the freedoms we experience, and that we so readily take for granted, to pursue and to actualize our “individual” dreams and ambitions….and we are so spoiled as to the treasure that is to do so.

So in light of these two discoveries, two great texts, fabulously probing questions, I am dedicating the New Year’s roster of articles to those artists, groups and methods who advocate Social Responsibility, the pursuit of spiritual renewal, and those whom take significant risk in so doing.

Wishing you a most delightful New Year.

Sian Lindemann 2008

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