Art, Politics and Disenchantment

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In mediæval Europe they burnt witches, unaware that witches don’t exist. In modern Cape Town there are people burning ‘white art’, which doesn’t exist either.

Yet it doesn’t take iconoclasts to deal in the unreal. In the U.K. we’ve had ‘ethnic minority arts’, ‘multi-ethnic arts’ and even Britain’s ‘non-British arts’ conjured up in what Colin Rhodes calls ‘a separate category and public-funding structure that seemed to define the role of the black artist from outside’. If the state abandons the arts to private patronage, it’s philistine; if it promotes ideals of the sublime and the beautiful it’s indulging elitism. So it shuffles its feet and welds aesthetics to social policy. Read More…