How do I not appear exploitative?

Thanks Mr Drummond.

Thanks Mr Drummond.

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?”

Innocent question.

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.

Browne Molyneux

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About Browne Molyneux

My name is Browne Molyneux. I'm a lady. I'm a radical feminist. I'm black. I'm an Angeleno. I'm an artist. I'm carFREE. I'm a freelance writer. I'm a blogger. I'm a philosopher. I'm a humanist. I'm a journalist. I formerly wrote a column on transportation, Tracks for LA City Beat. The above are all of the things I have to work on being, got questions email me. My topics of interests include but are not limited to politics, transportation, dark green issues, economics, race relations, feminism, culture, working class urban life, media, art, Los Angeles and literature.

9 thoughts on “How do I not appear exploitative?

  1. As a successful artist, you have the opportunity to exploit the rich, the collector. Sure they get a tax shelter, but they also have to warehouse your ephemeral yet cumbersome art objects. That’s just a different way of answering that question of ingenuous ambition.

    That kid had moxy…was that a real question?

  2. That was my creative interpretation of the question…lol…but it was pretty freakin close to the actual question. I just shortened it, took out the “likes” and “umms” and the back story about all of the person’s hard work for a WHOLE month in the summer time with the poor people in the rainforest, Appalachians, the projects…whatever all of these people’s projects sound the damn same.

    “It wasn’t about the college credit, it was about the people.”


  3. Wow… That was a hellva question, on a whole bunch of levels. I didn’t know the goal was to be an “Art Superstar.”

    That’s pretty fucking depressing.

  4. The whole purpose of living in America is to be a superstar, even if it’s just a plumbing superstar.

    The sad thing is that right now in the art world, that work by non-MFA, non-“buggered into submission” artists either in situations of economic disadvantage or portraying economics or politics that they’re actually in relation to get ignored, while MFA wielding folks who have never let their feet touch the ground that the rest of us walk on make ersatz versions of the same work and it gets put right into the museum.

  5. He’s onto something. I would be interested about an art piece that documents a 20-something intern that was dropped from a plane into the Amazon rain forest, the Appalachians, the projects, etc., spreading goodwill. Like 8 different hot spots of in 3 weeks. In fact I’m already optioning a screenplay about that. It’s called Bubble Boy 2.

    It’s so hard to claim authorship over ideas these days. You just have to stick to your vision and craft. Or accept that some ideas may be collective. Or get an MFA and say, “I have a license to use a this and I can set up a dichotomy in 10 seconds flat.” Those kids do work. They are metaphor commandos. I can’t knock them. It gets you exposed to new ideas as well. Be assured though, not having an MFA is novel.

  6. “I would be interested about an art piece that documents a 20-something intern that was dropped from a plane into the Amazon rain forest, the Appalachians, the projects, etc., spreading goodwill.”thesecretlifeofcats

    I already have a name for the show “We Just Want to Help!!”

  7. “Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records” by Chumbawamba…see Bush isn’t the end. There are so many things to make fun of.

    I’m so waiting for this idea of a Minister of Culture or a Department of Culture to come to fruition. I think this is a horrible idea, good in theory, but you know in other places where it’s about promoting culture…people in America would think that movies and tv would fall under culture and from there it will all go down hill, but I’m ok with that. I want it to happen. Can you imagine the kind of insanity that would come out of the Department of Culture. I’m going to register the anti domain of whatever the final name ends up being, because I know it is going to happen.

  8. Good catch – i WAS quoting that song COMMON PEOPLE… which if they had played at the outset of the panel would have solved so many gray areas that were glossed over in the talks.

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