The Artist's Plight
As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect. The truth is that my thoughts are being disrupted by the current event that took place last night November 18th 2016. I heard and saw the news today that out - rightly demonized our new Vice - President Mike Pence, when he decided to go out to watch the Broadway Musical "Hamilton". At the end of the show the lead of the show read lines that were not part of the script. He shared his angst on behalf of the whole cast.
For me, to learn this news as an artist, it was heartbreaking. Because I have always thought of artists who always seek to inspire. This is the job of an artist, to inspire. Whilst opinions may be agreeable or disagreeable, this is the way of the artist. It is a revealing a showing, a suggesting. For example: Diego Rivera's art was very concerned with the social and political movements, this was due to the revolution that was taking place in Mexico city. So through his art he was able to express what he felt, about the social and political movements that were taking place. However, when a painting is hung on the wall of a museum, or a gallery. The artist is not there physically to tell the story of what, when, where, how, or why of the painting. Whilst we can do research to discover the contexts of the art, without knowing the meaning is very beneficial. We are firstly able to formulate our own meanings. This is the purpose of art. To invoke. To inspire.
Similarly, when we watch musicals or a Broadway show that has been scripted, what are we to do when artists transcend beyond the script? Was it right for the lead performer to do this on behalf of the cast and directors? Was this the right platform to be showing this political opinion? The difference to what happened at the Broadway musical from the position of Diego Rivera, was the fact that the lead performer and the cast of "Hamilton" were getting paid to perform. In other words the audience was paying to watch the show, not to hear smears to one single individual in the audience. It does not matter if it was the VP or not. This is outright libel, could even be a deformation of character. A personal attack. We all have the right to a political opinion, but in this case. It just went too far. This is heartbreaking because now as artist's we are all in a shadow. You have marked the arts. You are paid for your performances, not paid to demean an audience member. I think that ultimately there should be accountability on the part of the cast, directors, also the mangers of this location should also take a stance. This can be seen as a "breach of theater protocol" (The New York Times).
Once again we are reminded about the dirty politics that are circling. Even as the new President and Vice - President have been selected. There are many avenues to express how you felt about the outcome of the election. This was totally inappropriate. At this point I would like to commend other artists for coming out to condemn this act. This act is not art. This is not who we are.
Please note: Whilst many have tweeted the hashtag - #BoyCottHamilton. I have decided to use this hashtag to appeal to a wider audience only. As with all our thoughts, I would like to use this space to inspire, and encourage all those who were involved to think and reflect. Maybe it is time to claim some responsibility and accountability for these actions?
Dedication: These thoughts are dedicated to Vice - President Elect Mike Pence, thank you truly for showing an interest in the arts. Your attendance is appreciated. I would also commend President Elect Donald Trump for taking the time to stand by his team. Thoughts to inspire with love & kindness! ;)
Notes: These thoughts were originally hand - written on November 19th, 2016.
Image 1 - Web Link
Image 2 - Web Link
Image 3 and 4 - Book Reference
Frida & Diego. Passion, Politics and Painting. Edited by Dot Tuer and Elliott King. Distributed Art Publishers, 2012.
Image 5 - Web Link
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Our thoughts, to invite and inspire. With Love & kindness. :)