The lack of integration of non-western groups that emigrate to Western Europe and America, the lack of 'buy-in' into western society isn't helpful. The ideas of the Enlightenment, critique, reason, analysis and individualism, don't penetrate the ghetto walls often. The actions of an extreme few that come out of these ghettos are only the tip of the Medieval iceberg that sits within the heart of most cities in Europe. How do we change things?
The church and state were fairly separate til very recently. However, with this idea suddenly looking rather shaky I found myself outside the Law Society's headquarters along with my friends. The Law Society, in it's wisdom, issued a guidance note to its members designed to help them formulate an Islamic will. We demanded that we wanted one law for all, Sharia, or any religious law for that matter, had no place within the British legal system. We won! They reversed their position.
Image courtesy The Economist - Demotix/Corbis
Trip out of London over, I came home to a parcel from the printer's with my work in it. This piece draws on comparisons between those that work on the political fringes of society and what the differences between them are. What is the purpose of drawing and what was it about it that got the Hebdo cartoonists killed?
We're gearing up for the general election, I think this time it will be easier, we have a lot to think about and vote on.
My final piece on what it is to draw and what drawing means. Why do we draw, what are we doing when we do it, who are we speaking to and why. Why do fundamentalists not like it? Why does it have such power? When we are stopped from drawing what does it mean?
The talk 'Art, Blasphemy and the Freedom of Expression' organised by artist Lars Vilks, saw Finn Norgaard, a film director, shot at close range by another fool last week. The trouble is that these lone wolf type killings serve to censor and oppress ideas and thought. Why does this 'group' enjoy darkness so much? Death of creativity, ideas, rational, people.
We need a government that makes it clear that advocating reason over ideology, or rational enlightenment over fundamentalism is the only way to live well.
A pause, a haitus, a break. I am just pondering before the next piece of work but here is one I made earlier. A book about maternal loss and it's impact on the family.
I saw seven or eight gallery shows today. They were good. No, they weren't, I am lying. One was very good, the rest sent me to sleep and I can't for the life of me remember most of the art work. I have a commission to make in the New Forest, the thought of leaving London sends shivers up my spine. I have another up in Newcastle too, I have never been there before and though I am scared to leave London again I am looking forward to listening to them talk-singing.
I have spent the past couple of days shopping computers and gadgets and I am fully portable, ready to start mobile working in Spring.
I can't decide whether to make a piece about the ideas of the Enlightenment or to concentrate on frivolity and hedonism.
The newspaper I made about the Charlie Hebdo massacre is back from the printers. I am content with it.
I do try to talk with people about what it means to kill people for drawing, most people haven't had to think about where drawing comes from, or what it means symbolically, and so I am often met with blankness, but eventually I manage to explain my view. Their argument usually centres around causing offence. I explain that we moved past killing people for that five hundred odd years ago but often I just switch off, I am too disturbed by the ignorance.
“The canary bird in the coal mine theory of the arts: artists should be treasured as alarm systems.”
My blog, a thought or two