I went to the LA Art Show and saw three lectures. One was with Leimert Park based artist Mark Bradford, the other was with Mat Gleason of Coagula, and another was with Marlena Donahue of Otis and friends. It was an interesting group of lectures that I will discuss more at length later…the one with Marlena was about diversity and how the art world excludes women. Good points were made on Marlena’s lecture BUT if I were running anything that talked about diversity I would make sure to include as many walks of life of people as possible (feminism doesn’t mean only women, only college educated, only middle class… I can call up three women artists who don’t have MFAs, who are people of color right now and get them to show up for a lecture at the LA Art Show) not a bunch of people of the same gender, ethnic and socio-economic group.
I don’t have a problem with a discussion with a homogeneous group of women (or men) artists, scientists, whatever…people tend to hang out with people who are like them, but when the point of your conversation is the lack of representation and you only mean lack of representation in this narrow way how can I not judge you slightly harshly?
After all of the lectures were over, all of the participants of the three lectures were brought together for a question and answer period.
Did the audience have questions about the participants’ views on art? For the most part, no. In general the questions where variations on how people could advance their art careers.
One young art student asked to paraphrase:
“How does one who is of the upper classes exploit the lower classes for fame and fortune, but not appear to be doing that? You know some art about people in sweatshops, economically deprived black people in the ninth ward, gangs or poor people in general. How can I use other people’s pain to become an art superstar?”
Mark pondered for a moment and said, “Think of a different way…”
Mat Gleason quoted from the song Common People, “Nobody likes a tourist.”
The other people on the panel didn’t agree. They thought it was totally fine to exploit other people’s pain for art superstardom. Then they proceeded to recount how they had successfully exploited other people’s pain.
The shows are going on right now if you are interested!!
People say with Bush gone what will satirist have to do, well you know Bush isn’t the only bullshit out there.