But it wasn’t the visual elite of the art world who had the Chris Drury piece on the campus of the University of Wyoming destroyed. [Please see my last two entries.] It was the politically elite, the reigning oligarchy, the moneyed interests, those with the wealth and power to destroy what they will.
In a recent essay, Chris Hedges talked about this ruling class. He said, “The elite deeply fears any art, literature, philosophy, poetry, theology and drama that challenge the assumptions and structures of authority.” The destruction of “Carbon Sink,” seems to bear this out. What else might have been the impetus to remove and destroy a work of art but fear? Fear that it would encourage contemplation of our situation, our relationship with nature, or our relationship with the corporations who provide us with energy. Any considered opinions on these topics are not welcome. Hedges goes on to say that, “The role of education, the elites believe, is to train us vocationally for our allotted positions and assure proper deference to the wealthy. Disciplines that prod us to think are—and the sneering elites are not wrong about this—‘political,’ ‘leftist,’ ‘liberal’ or ‘subversive.’ And schools and universities across the country are effectively stomping out these disciplines.”
You may find the full essay at Common Dreams:
I don’t think of my own artwork as political, any more than Drury appears to, but I am not unaware of the political ramifications of the contemplative engagement in these times.