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At what point does performance art become direct democracy?  Is an artist’s effectiveness at opposing state oppression a performance, if a performance artist defeats state power?  May aesthetic principals define political action? Can direct democratic interventions using artistry: public comment, writing, signage, posts, house decoration, filmmaking, organizing by artists be instantly negated as non-art when positioned outside the white cube inside a government building? Are art and politics like matter and anti-matter or are these social borders -- fictive? If non-commercial sand painting is art, why deny direct democracy art?  This is Ai Wei Wei and Vaclev Havel’s practice.  Havel, aesthetic-President, became the last president leading to the dissolution of the Czechoslovakia state.  Institutional critique art may be lethal to state power’s illusion of legitmacy.  The Oligarchy’s terror of state illegitimacy stands behind terrorizing political artists, from blacklisting to incarceration to assasination. Where does the art world position the art-citizen; in general history but outside art history?  States send blacklisted artists to the undiscoverable, no place-places, beyond history, memory or consciousness.  Lucy Lippard in MIXED BLESSINGS writes, the capitalist art market, post WWII, excluded representational artworks with a social and spiritual content (market politicization against capitalist critique, an corp. state blacklist).  Doesn’t direct democracy, citizen action by artists, precisely reclaim our shared socio-spiritual connection?  For instance, negation of the genocidal annexation of the continent and enslaving the poor for capital extraction and U.S.’s perpetual wars for acquisition from puritans to today, the foundation for capitalists “prosperity” are the socio-spiritual subject matter suppressed by the state.  Is artistic reflection of shared socio-spiritual experience forbidden by Lippard-identified capitalist-market exclusion exactly like the history the empires war profit underpinning our prosperity, is forbidden?  Artists involved in direct democracy may seem “threatening” for institutionally critiquing the this false history, and be harassed or framed or prosecuted for thought crimes: nonideological & unorthodox envisioning.

Can non-violent, consciousness raising, socio-spiritual art making, actually endanger violent imperial capitalists?     Most artists don’t think so but the state choses to neutralize successful artists rather than discover they’re wrong.  4.6.20  Wayne Coe