Art for the innocent.

Michaël Samyn, December 12, 2012

For all my love for Bientôt l’été, I’m not sure if it is the most effective approach. It is possible that I have overestimated the potential audience for my work. If so, this is a mistake I need to avoid making in the future.

Sometimes it feels like wit is in overall decline. And while I sense a strong tendency towards infantilisation in our societies at the moment, ever increasing sophistication is not the way to combat it.

With Bientôt l’été I have indulged myself in a deeply narcissistic exercise that I can share only with my soul mates. It can function as my very own Soul Mate Detector.

But that is not the task of art.

Yes, I believe art has a task. Art can be beneficial for a society. And since it can be, I feel I should contribute, as an artist (*). Art can show us beauty, point out what is beautiful in the world. And experiencing beauty connects us with an aspect of our being that is noble, that is worthy of salvation. We are not consumers, we are not markets. We are not collateral damage. A sense of self worth is the basis for the emancipation of the human race from the economic and political systems it created but then lost control of.

We are not all super smart. But we do all have the capacity for nobility. We need to find that part of ourselves that is good, and kind, and beautiful. Art can help us with that.

As an intellectual with a lot of exposure to and experience with art, I easily grow weary of what I perceive to be corny, sappy, simplistic. And so I look for ever increasing complexity and sophistication in art.

That’s fine for the spectator in me, the user, the person who experiences and enjoys art. But not for the creator in me. Not anymore.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to dive as deep as I have with Bientôt l’été. But now it is time to surface, to move on. And grow up. To take up my responsibility as a member of this community, and commit to my task as an artist.

(*) I don’t feel this needs to be the task of every artist. If only because I do often myself deeply enjoy the creations of artists who don’t give a damn and make very personal work. I just feel that given who I am now and what my concerns tend to be, I will be more satisfied committing myself to this task.

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