Art can be a protest

Art can be a protest, but not like that. In the the past few days there has been very much made of a D-Link comedian and her photo shoot. The reason there was so much controversy was because that photo shoot included a likeness of Donald Trump’s severed head. She has since been fired from the in good gig she had. This is probably for the best. I do have a little bit different of a take than most on this however.

Art in the modern age has been an incredibly powerful form of protest. It has been a vehicle for the angst and anger of generations. Rock and Roll moved an entire generation to embrace the counter culture. Photography has allowed us permanent windows into pivotal moments of time. Art is powerful.

Shock value art has it’s place too. It is a good and proper goal of artists and entertainers to push and explorer our collective cultural limits. Controversial pieces and performances make us think and talk about our values in contexts that are safely isolated from the hard and fast circumstances of reality. “Do you think Saw had a message? What was it saying to you?”

Under these premises and with this in mind, I might have been able to accept this work. However ultimately I can not, because this was not the spirit in which it was offered. This was not some powerful commentary. This was not a righteous protest trying to assert itself in our culture. This was porn for “the resistance” and a feeble attempt to grab attention in an atmosphere where only the most rediculous will do. 

This has no inherent value and is indefensible. We get it, you hate Trump too and want to signal to the community just how much you do for the sake of your ratings. We get it. The problem is nobody cares. Nothing new was brought to the table here. All this was is another voice crying out vainly because the other team won.

Go ahead, make offensive art. I don’t have to like it and that’s part of the beauty of it. If you are going to make offensive art however, use it to start a conversation. Don’t use it to show us all how psuedo-edgy you are with the in crowd. Nobody wants to give you attention that badly.


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