Wednesday, November 05, 2008
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I have been making it a point to not post much concerning the election and politics over the last month or two as I felt in many ways, on this blog, that I would have been preaching to the choir. And really, who had not already had enough politics discussions going on in every other area of their lives. But now, that the election is over, where do we go from here?
For the past months, we have been drowning in a financial crisis, the art market collapse and draining election coverage. In this same time period, I have been reflecting upon my own art, dreams and goals, all the while searching for a job. Times have been hard for all and with the holidays closing in, things may appear bleak. But, where do we stand today?
For the past several weeks I have been working along with other IDADA board members to work out arrangements for this years, Annual Membership Meeting to be held at the Harrison Center for the Arts. One of my tasks was to work on finding a guest speaker that I felt would inspire our attendees and we chose to invite Paul Klein, who some of you may be familiar with from previous posts. Paul Klein is a Chicago based arts advocate and writes a well read e-newsletter Art Letter. In recent conversation with Paul, he turned me on to 'Prospect.1', a new city wide art biennial in New Orleans (you can read about his trip in the latest Art Letter). Paul stated that Prospect.1 was "the biggest biennial ever hosted in the United States, and easily the most significant and joyous art event I’ve ever had the privilege of attending." Instantly I became interested. I wanted to hear more. Here was someone who has been to a number of art events of all sorts over the years, so I was intrigued to read more. What about this event made it so impactful. I sat at my laptop reading the latest Art Letter and browsing the Prospect.1 web site while watching the presidential election coverage last night. This was, after all, the first presidential election I have ever voted in. By the time I went to bed, Obama had taken Indiana and declared the President Elect of the United States of America. A historical moment.
This morning I get the felling that there is a collective atmosphere of hope, that things will indeed get better though it will not be automatic or even easy. Even John McCain's concession speech was one of bringing together our country in a time of need. To set aside our differences to rebuild our economy and build a stonger more unified America. The next year or more will be difficult and the art market too will have its losses.
Artworld Salon, this morning, in a brief post concerning the election poised some interesting questions,
Whatever happens, the United States, and the world along with it, is set to become a different place. So a logical question for this forum is: What will the election mean for us? Will art register the mood swings of the nation and the world? Will the art world mirror in some way the transformations about to unfold in America? Will arts policy adopt new priorities and innovative thinking? Will cultural diplomacy get a second chance? What do you hope for?There is something in the spirit of what Paul Klein wrote and what I can only assume he felt while attending Prospect.1 in New Orleans only to arrive in Chicago as Barak Obama wins the election. I think that the art world will in many ways have a reaction to this historical event. A feeling that it is still possible for all of us to make the world we want; to make the world a better place. Let's us all hope that things will indeed change and change for the best.
Andrew Taylor, of the blog Artful Manager has a new post reprinting the Obama campaigns art's policy document. You may want to check it out.
So what does all of this rambling I have done here boil down to? Optimism.
I hope you can all make it out to the IDADA Annual Event, to be held at the Harrison Center for the Arts, November 20th to hear Paul Klein speak. See you around the galleries Friday. Enjoy the week.