Monday, March 29, 2010

Art (Factory) Farm

I cant help but think about some of the similarities between the plight of the small farm and the plight of the studio artist. Both have been institutionalized, and isolated from the majority of the masses. I find it funny that museums are these giant building in a selected location, where only the elite attend and actually know what is going on. They carry on a discourse foreign to the masses, and progress, if you can call it that, moves in ways that are non sensical to the rest of us. A vacuum cleaner in a glass case counts as one of the most valuable items a millionaire could have in their home!
Like wise the factory farm is also tucked away in large building where only a few of the elite, if you can call them that, are allowed to enter. There they carry on discourse that also seems like a foreign language, and progress, if you can call it that, is the next way to sell some ridiculous dairy-esque product to the masses. One of the most valuable items could have is a smoothie-dairy-cubie snack!
In both fields the typical consumer has no idea who the person is that is producing the food media, or the art media that is being offered to them. There is little differentiation between products. The franken food looks all the same with blaring lables, and most of the art on the wall looks about the same maybe there is an all purple canvas next to an all blue canvas. Thanks Yves!
The majority of people have never met their artist and never met their farmer. The masses carry a romantic conception of artist working away at their paintings in their Greenwich Village apartment, just like their conception of a farmer is a blond haired milk maid plunking away at a few cows with chickens and pigs running around the farm yard, and a frikin rooster crowing in the morning. yeah right.
Both institutions dictate down to the masses what beautiful is, and also what food will make us beautiful. Our link to the idea of a beautiful human and the foods that are produced to have that beautiful body are dictate by the same conglomerate. Wendell Barry said " our bodies were physically beautiful when they were physically useful." I don't see the use in running on a treadmill like a frikin gerbil all that useful.
The artist use to decide what was beautiful and the farmer use to decide on their own, what made good food. None of this was dictated to either of them. And we as humans had the ability on our own to decided what was beautiful and was good for us.  There is nothing more beautiful than watching your woman decide she is going out before the sun comes up, in a snow storm, with a busted foot, a hammer in one hand, to rip apart a frozen round bale because that is what needed to be done.  Or halter training a calf in the middle of a pasture with summer sun. Beauty has a purpose, and it is for artist and farmers to connect the dots to make a picture any of us would like to look at.

No comments:

Post a Comment