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Art After Empire: Creation Of A New Democracy

1217 words - 5 pages

Art after Empire: Creating the Political Economy of a New Democracy

“Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.” –Leo Tolstoy. It is certain that when an artist creates a work of art, he/she does not only aim to create, but rather, is attempting to share a personal experience or opinion on a matter. The artist has the potential to enable “the experience of the sublime, the contemplation of the other, the not yet, the no longer, the inconceivable” –Matthais Osterwold.

The question now arises is art not only a medium of ideas which simplifies and clarifies a person’s opinions and thoughts or is there an artistic take on current ...view middle of the document...

However a reason why many say Barack Obama won and was able to attain so much support was through his ability to represent change. His speeches full of emotion, creativity, innovation, and freshness helped gain admiration and impressed not only voters inside the United States but also from observers outside the United States in Europe and Asia. Obama’s speeches full of important topics on the Iraq war, Guantanamo Bay, Health care, etc. usually dry and complex were explained in a new and charismatic way so that millions were able to connect.

Though the use of art and the media as a way to gain votes and to be able to connect to a wide audience has helped Obama to gain a majority in votes, the question is does this help the political economy of the United States? Did the vision of change through the Obama and his ability to create magnificent inspiring speeches help the development of the political economy of the United States? Surprisingly just weeks after the inauguration in January 2009 congress couldn’t find any appropriate amount of spending on arts and culture and didn’t see it fit to include a financial aid for the arts and cultures in the economic stimulus package. Thus the presidential candidate took advantage of art and cultures to be able to mask the unquestioning pragmatism and the “reaction dominates action” stand of the government. Investing and spending into art is seen as elitist, frivolous, or both.

Now nearly a year and a half later Obama is struggling with an environmental catastrophe, a poor economy, and a seemingly never ending war in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is fairly apparent why not only the current administration but Washington itself is struggling against poor polls and popularity ratings. The reason being that the government is unable to set a clear line, there is no forward thinking, no innovation. A possible solution to the current downside would be an artistic view on important matters. Art enables us to heighten the potential of an individual and facilitates groups to work efficiently together through interpreting the feelings and emotions correctly.

The question now arises how realistic is it to use arts for economic development? Over the course of the century artists have often used their popularity and insight on certain subjects to promote the importance of a certain matter. For example George Clooney, or Angeline Jolie who have taken leading roles in the Darfur Civil War in Sudan by being Good-will ambassadors for the UN or have even read speeches at the UN Headquarters...

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