QUOTE(The Baptist Death Ray @ Oct 22 2006, 07:54 PM)
My wife heard this on the radio earlier today . . . I don't like the title "Genius Grants." It seems to perpetuate an idea of the artist which is unhealthy to both the artist and the community they (should) serve.
Yes, we should instead re-enforce the idea that artists are all retards.
That's funny! So the only alternative to enforcing an elitist class is enforcing the idea that all artists are retards.
In her book _Has Modernism Failed?_ Suzi Gabik tells of an artist in Ohio that has taken on full time work as a social worker. "In the course of his social work he has discovered that many of these people with disabilities make wonderful art. ...he has chosen to reach out and help people who are usually shut out of the conversation about art and culture. 'I am not sacrificing anything,' he says, 'and I am gaining everything.'" Where is his Genius Grant? Is what he does not equally important, if not more so?
I like the idea of re-enforing the importance of art, but is handing out $4,000,000.00 to eight people really the best way? The general public already feels that it is not possible for them to be artists and that art is exclusive. And education cuts in arts programs are already creating a generation of people who have little or no first hand connection to art making. Doesn't this kind of reward simply exacerbate the divide?
And from the artist side, how does this help enforce the idea that art is more important than financial gain? How does this help the artist understand they have a responsibility to the community as much if not more so than the community has in providing them a living?
It is a difficult balance to work out. As someone who makes his living in art, one I think about daily. Art is important and should be encouraged. But what does the Genius Grant _really_ re-enforce and encourage? Individual materialism and entitlement or community? Or something else?
Just some thoughts and questions,