All any artist really wants is a seat at the table that is art. What does that mean? Good question.
I think what that means is that every artist wants to be recognized as an artist in the first place, and then have a sense of place, both in terms of their work and also in terms of their voice. They want to be a part of the dialogue.
How to achieve that is one question. There is however, another problem. There are only so may seats at the table. The result seems a lot like musical chairs. There aren't enough seats to go around.
Why? Good question. Why not just pull up more chairs? The answers to these questions means a further examination of human nature as well as the human condition. On the other hand it doesn't take a degree in math to see that there aren't enough chairs and never have been. Apparently we like it that way.
All of this makes getting a seat at the table not only a question of survival, but also one of competition. Then of course there is keeping the seat once you get it. None of this is necessarily nice or fair. It is dog eat dog. Someone is going to come up short; someone is going to be without a seat. A lot of someones. Should life be nice or fair? Should the art world be nice or fair? Does should even matter? Isn't "what's what" what matters?
If you're asking why there aren't enough seats at the table you may be asking the wrong question. Or maybe that is what they want you to think. Maybe they want you to think "how do I get a seat, and keep it," and nothing else.
Change happens when people start asking questions. Questions are a big part of how we learn and grow. Just watch a child.
As an artist, do you even want to play musical chairs?
(the clip is courtesy of Larry Deyab)
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