Tuesday, April 06, 2010

General Election called

With the announcement of the date of the General election for May 6th, I recall the one-time Dada artist George Grosz's commentary on the politics of Germany during and after the 'Great 'War'. Okay so things aren't quite so bad in Britain as the returning defeated nation of Germany was with hyper-inflation, social unrest, strikes and failed revolution. But Britain has nothing to be complacent about either. Grosz's satirical picture bluntly states his view of the abilities and crimes of the self-elected and self-serving politicians of the new Weimar Republic. The Banker, the Military General and several headless and therefore brainless, Bureaucrats govern and carve up power for themselves. The blinkered ass standing on a table and eating money in a manager could be a metaphorical message from a medieval morality lesson. Nor forgetting the icon-like presence of the dollar symbol hovering in the background.

Grosz realized that, when push comes to shove, most art serves the bourgeois or increasingly, these days, those that aspire to its values; In Grosz's view most art, especially if with a capital A, unless taking an unambiguous stand-point, maintains the status quo and therefore complicitly accepts social inequality and injustice. Much art even today, continues to serve the purposes of, and upholds the values of consumerism and capitalism.
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