"To create today is to create dangerously." Albert Camus, circa 1950s as he contemplated the role of the artist as a voice of resistance.
In a the recent book review in Brain Picking, Maria Popova included the above quote. Not only is the quote interesting but the subtitle of the book caught our attention:
Salvation by Words: Iris Murdoch on Language as a Vehicle of Truth and Art as a Force of Resistance to Tyranny
The subject is relevant to today's social and political unrest and what roles we play, not just as artists, but as citizens and humans. We all have to decide where we fit in the spectrum of the racial debate, brought front and center again, by the death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, while in police custody. How our nation moves on from this is unknown as the debate and unrest continues out in front of an impending national election. Rhetoric reigns unbridled on all sides.
So for today we share a story of one artist's "deed" and a related quote from Iris Murdoch from the late 1900s.
On June 5th Two Street Gallery reopened the doors of our gallery with a very special guest artist of the month. Award-winning artist Jennifer Moss of Fairbanks speaks little of herself when discussing art, choosing instead to talk about events and ideas. While helping us introduce her current show with a live Facebook event she revealed to us and to the public that she will be donating her entire proceeds to the cause of Black Lives Matter. Think about that. All the profits from her art will be donated to a local group that helps bridge the racial divide. Even here in Fairbanks, nearly 3,000 miles away from the events in Minneapolis that spurred a national debate about equity, an art show featuring nature and peace can contribute locally to make a difference. It gives us great pause to examine our own convictions, a pause that continues, while we wrestle and learn where we fit into the question of racism in America.
"Tyrants always fear art because tyrants want to mystify while art tends to clarify. The good artist is a vehicle of truth."
-- Iris Murdoch circa 1990s
Jennifer Moss is a good artist, not just because her art is beautiful, but because of her deeds and the vehicle of truth that she drives here in the boreal north. Thank you Jennifer. Let's make this show a sellout!