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Wake up and live your beautiful life

June 23, 2014

guider

As an artist I look to see through the constructs of society in order to see life in as objective way as possible. I want to deal with truth as much as possible and I want to work and live with meaning and purpose beyond the frail ego of a disingenuous glory seeker. I want to make work that is real and makes people think, that shows that there are alternative perspectives and that being unconventional and different is no stigma and something to be proud of. Having said this I don’t want to make work that is pointed, dogmatic or reactive to the mainstream, no I want to make art that is an unadulterated expression of my life and existence, an expression of the core and timeless quality of being a solitary human entity. But in the confusion and bombardment of life it is a great challenge and these circumstances confuse, cajole and sweep us into a general flow, becoming compliant and subordinated to greater powers, whose motive is something we can only guess at. Could corporations and a band of elite people really be so motivated by money and power that they would stop at nothing to further their own sense of importance so that they can impose their will on society and the world and if so why would we want the values of greed and exploitation to prevail as a bench mark of success and form the hierarchical zenith of human achievement. But this is what we have, a world economy that holds the world to ransom, and what is money beyond an abstract concept that is used to bully and enforce control. So we live by a system based on folly and play by the rules that we are conditioned into and in that sense it’s like a game. But if you are like me and see the world from a different perspective it is almost impossible to play that game, a game in which  to be successful you need to deceive yourself into believing in the values imposed and conditioned into the fabric of your being. I will give you an example by simple questions, how can you put a value on the value of a work of art? what is the value of the value of a work of art?. You see in my experience of life I have come to understand that nothing is absolute and that most ideas and perceived absolutes are no more than collective conjecture or assumptions and that by not playing by the rules exposes great flaws in the collective acceptance of conventional wisdom.

Libationists

Now I’m writing about this because I went for a rare trip to the cinema to take some children to see the latest box office extravaganza and was overwhelmed by the assault on my senses and quite taken by the oppressive message that the film imposed on my  being. It feels like cultural imperialism and I find it astonishing that in a sense we pay to be indoctrinated by the subliminal content of what is no more than a crude attempt to brainwash people into compliance through fear and awe and at the same time we are bombarded by advertisements for the great corporations. The American hierarchy has a lot to answer for in its capitalistic ambition which borders on imperialism and its notion of cultural supremacy that has dominated British culture throughout my life. A message that has been delivered through the mass media and its tight grip on the world economy. Either you can accept the status quo and take part in the race to gather money and be complicit in a system based on exploitation or you can awaken and realise that there are alternative ways of being.

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When I was about twenty I had become absorbed into the cultural phenomenon through watching the continual flow of American films and shows on tv untill one day when I woke out of my slumber and realised that all of this programming had absolutely no relevance to my life beyond holding me in sedation. I was sitting in a room on my own watching the tv and there was a sudden shift in my perception, it was like the tv suddenly moved away from me and I became aware of the room, a shock that brought me out of the escapist fantasy world and back into my reality and it was life changing. From that point my relationship with the mass media was one of dipping in and then trying to escape but often I became lost and consumed by the notions of glamour and cool untill two years ago when it all started to make sense. I was able to understand my intuition that had protected me and realise the role that the mass media has in indoctrinating and controlling the population on every level. It is an intelligent and beautiful trojan that gained access to all our homes and a gift that by accepting requires a great sacrifice. As an artist accepting the status quo and being complicit in such systems to my mind means you cannot be a true artist because your underlying motivations are fracked, fracked because at the core of your creativity there is a small particle of desire that is a subversion from the honesty and integrity of art.

Now as I said previously this piece of writing is about a simple trip to the cinema in Britain, so it was Popcorn, Coke, Mcdonalds, Marvel Comics, X-Men and a string of advertisements for up and coming American films voiced over in the deep voiced, American accented tone, delivered with the cool and authoritative panache that we expect in Castleford. So why did I leave the cinema with a tear in my eye, well I’ll tell you, it was because I felt an overwhelming despair about the future, demonstrated by how a totaly meaninglessness film that explored the purility of awesome escapist fantasy could be so acceptable in mainstream society. How in a world that is so beautiful and complicated can we rationalise and funnel our creative energies into something so formulaic and oppressive. My optimism took a serious blow during my outing and my reaction shocked me, but after two years without mass media one awakens so much of what is suppressed by the overwhelming nature of contemporary living. It comes down to being in tune with self and the sensitivity to all that is around you, most of which you become aware of in the silence of your own peace.

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I didn’t want to explore these thoughts through writing but my experience and feelings forced me to throw down a few words because I feel if we all accept everything without protest there will never be any great change and also because strong feelings appear for a reason. There are so many alternatives out there for a more wholesome existence but people have to stand up and make that difference so that we are no longer prisoners to the technology that delivers oppression and control. Technology that we pay for both financially and spiritually as we put our trust into the meaninglessness of consumption and forget the simplicity of the experiential state of being.

We are born free and yet our lives are subverted and directed from the start, controlled and conditioned through education, the media guides us into fashion and the cool ways of being through consumption by which time we are all in the tight control of a system. It feels like you could live a life without ever really questioning who, what and why you are here, just all part of a neat and convenient system. However these experiences confirm that my path as an artist is one that is becoming true to my being and that in being an artist I have the opportunity to follow my intuition and discover a greater meaning to my life outside of the constraints of society. I just hope that by sharing my thoughts it may allow others more caught up in the system to feel able to question more and look at life and art from a fresh perspective, oh and by the way I love life and I love art. ❤

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