Art is Political

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Trans Europ Halles Meeting – Marseille – Novembre 2013
by Ahmed El Attar

Art, all kind of Art, does have an impact: it still influences you. Even entertainment. I grew up to become an independent artist because I was myself surrounded by “entertainment” and I did not want that and that is also what made me become an artist. We cannot disregard this. That’s exactly the magic of artistic work.

It’s like Bauhaus, founded by an elitist group, which only focused on artistic content in a secluded place in Germany. Beyond that Bauhaus has influenced our vision of the world, not just in terms of art and design but in our everyday life. So we cannot just measure art like we measure everything else because that bourgeois work influenced the world. (…)

Art is political, art is social, art is economical. Artists do not have to make a political piece in order to have a political influence or a piece about social justice to promote social justice. That is the whole power of art: by being abstract sometimes, by being absurd, in itself, art is a social and political action that influences society in ways that sometimes political, social and economic discourse cannot do. This is why, as independent spaces, we support artists and their creations because they have that power. Artists have to continue working as artists and not be burdened by going out to public spaces. Artists have to keep that marginal freedom to decide where they work and on what they work. They could be talking about the family, about their own love affair, and that same piece can have political, social and economic implications at the same time as being personal. This is really important because we are otherwise going to turn all artists into cultural and social activists, which is not necessary.

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