A Sense of SocietyPosted: May 1, 2014
Work that i’ve been building up with the intention of exhibiting as a painting and text / narrative structure explores a seeming disconnection from a sense of society. The notion of obligation towards a vague ‘others’ is being eroded by a competitive nature which might be becoming more the norm.
From here on in the post i’m going to let myself write roughly what i’m thinking of when i look at the work i’m creating, without self-evaluating at this point (I might not stand by some of this stuff, within five minutes of having posted, this is jut a ramble that I think might be insightful in connection to any upcoming exhibition of mine):
When i think of the words ‘A sense of society’, I think of the self indulgent Chris Moyles Show, or the TV programme ‘My super-sweet sixteen’. Or of dick-heads not picking up after their dogs in the park where children play. I think of Letting Agents, and cardiff club-drinkers who drunkenly take the piss out of big-issue sellers on a saturday night, dressed to the smart-casual standard. It might be something to do with being post-empire, and having to be more ambitious just to rise above the bread-line. and the constant rise in wealth inequality must affect many aspects of our culture. But this work is about the people I know and understand. People I know are generally nice. We’re all nice, and we all want to enjoy ourselves, and find little nooks of life that keep us feeling alive.
If you’re interested in what Nestle find appropriate concerning water, or baby formulae as faux-charity, check here:
It’s very odd to think of choosing to give money to a person who profits from denying free water to a small pakistani community, so that he can sell it to them. But i’ll do it, apparently without losing any sleep because it doesn’t make a bit of financial difference to Nestle wether I but their crap or not.
This situation exists in many aspects of my life. I get taxed and fund some war, or some politician’s friend liquidates and then owns the offices of a tax-funded company that was supposedly set-up to help the unemployed. I buy food from tesco and fund their dirty tactics on monopolising the food and cheap good market. I fund cheap labour and health-and-safety double-standards when i buy pants from Primark, and I sleep in a flat that has three spare sofas whilst I live on a street that usually has on it people cold and begging for change. I get sentimental thinking about friends that I would say I have a lot of time for, but can sometimes completely forget their personal problems that they have only recently told me about. These aren’t unusual hypocrisies. These are purposely the moral contradictions of most people within my culture. Which means they are the cultural norm of my time and place, which make them infinitely more easy to ignore. So with all this in mind, i don’t judge people who do seemingly immoral things, as long as they are reasonably within the local standards, because that’s all you can measure yourself by sometimes. Recently I’ve been studying TED talk on the Neuroscience of Resorative Justice by Daniel Reisel. He argues that Empathy is like a muscle, that must be first taught and shown to a person and then regularly practiced by that person in order for it to work in the future. So it’s possible that in our society we feel we are being ripped off in a way (of freedoms mostly) and so collectively become less sympathetic to others.