Dogs are a man’s best friend, or so they say. But while men are throwing frisbees to their best buds in some park field, you’ll find a queer ( insert gay/lesbian stereotype here ) with their best friend, the odd yet, loveable house cat. 882 more words
Is artistic expression an avenue through which 'others' can participate in 'cultures' which otherwise exclude them?
- Can art re-enscribe other'd bodies with belonging/humanity/citizenship through:
- the process of participation;
- the creation of dwelling spaces where an audience is permitted to respond to the bodies of participants solely based on the art that they co-creating?
- The article to which Hannah's post refers suggests this is the case. Using the term 'cultural citizenship' (this being my first encounter with said concept... and so I have yet to unpack it), the Harvard Gazette article posits that the openness with which people receive artistic expression, coupled with artistic media's translatability ((perhaps, as opposed to other cultural habitus whose semiotic complexity and level of cultivated competency, may render the cultural-newb's efforts inauthentic??? just a thought)) means that artistic expression can operate as a sort of levelling ground, a phenomenon where many who are otherwise denied access dominant culture are permitted to participate in culture. The argument seems to be, that this is because artistic practice is a language that momentarily supersedes the individual identities of those who participate in it, and thus, in this space, all those who participate in creating the language 'belong'. As I write this a whole bunch of questions come up about ritual, access, aesthetic taste, identity boundaries, what is culture etc.
- Does participating in art create a new culture, a new space, in which other cultural judgements are suspended or irrelevant?
[it is about] the artistic creation of spaces of belonging with others. More specifically, this article considers how shared creative activities can engender inclusion that isn’t simply about enveloping the other in a predefined space, but is in fact about creating a new space with the other. As panellist Colin Jacobson is quoted as saying, “In order to play with someone else, you have to have a shared common ground on which to stand”. Notably it seems that cultural citizenship is also explicitly connected with ideas about minority expression, and as this article also discusses, the importance of being able to perform significant traditional forms of music in new contexts. However, the broader theme of creativity as key to emergent spaces of belonging that does not take identity, simple ”pluralism”, or assimilation as centralising concepts par excellence for notions of belonging, I think has relevance to potentially imagining new possibilities of gender and sexuality beyond binaries like man/woman and gay/straight outside of the problematics of identity politics.
- Can spaces which include the other as a co-collaborater in creativity act as a footnote to existing culture, thereby modifying existing cultural narratives about the worth of the other?
- Or does, for example, the racist/sexist/ableist hat etc simply go back on the head of the privileged when they leave the creative space and participate in other spheres of culture... and thus the moment of artistic expression is, to the other'd, nothing but a moment of respite from the criticising gaze of the privileged other?
- What does it mean to say that artistic expression is culture? I am fascinated by the use of the term in the Harvard article. There is something very definite about it's use that unsettles me. So I need to understand the context to feel better about it.
- Does art really unify? I mean, how do we measure that?
- I am sure I will ponder those later. Because I am not supposed to be blogging right now :P Oops.
- Here are some quotes from the original article:
"culture becomes “the voice of expression” for many migrating communities because they lack political representation or public recognition"
- My thought stream from this comment: Maybe this implies that dominant culture can only handle "otherness" when it is suspended in the valour-liquid of entertainment
- ... but then art is a phantastic space, often beyond words, whose acceptance necessitates that we suspend our judgement and be imaginative... so maybe we allow the other to be appreciated in the spaces of art, stand beside us as artistic equals, because we know it is a pretend sphere.
- Ok, no analysis here. Laziness. I clearly have my pessimists hat on for no reason.
"Panelist Colin Jacobsen, violinist and composer with the ensemble, said the fluid nature and shared language of music contributes to cultural citizenship just about every time the group practices.
“In order to play with someone else, you have to have a shared common ground on which to stand,” he said. “Each one of us … comes from a particular tradition, but there’s also a common sense of curiosity about what we don’t know, and the desire to reach out and hopefully incorporate that.
“It doesn’t mean you have to learn everything about another tradition. But you need a sense of courage to leap into the unknown. And in that moment, in that encounter, there’s a desire to not hold on to only what you know, but to try and fully absorb what is in front of you in that moment … and hopefully you then learn and grow as well.”http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/03/the-quest-for-common-ground/
- Above, Hannah describes the Qwire (Canberra Gay and Lesbian Choir) as the space in which cultural citizenship in the form of artistic practice is enacted in her world.
- Of course, without fully encountering the context of this article, this article has piqued my interest because it includes the idea of democratising-dwelling-spaces, where the mutual act of purposeful dwelling (play, co-creation, recreation) promotes community.
- Further, the dwelling places discussed are those that occur in the practice of artistic expression. And I am all over that shizz, like a cupcake. Nom nom.