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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, or does organizing by artists instantly become non-art when positioned outside the white cube inside a government building? Is there a whitelist for the blacklisted? 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?  Direct democracy is Ai Wei Wei and Vaclev Havel’s practice.  Havel, aesthetic-President, was the last president, he lead the dissolution of the Czechoslovakia state.  Institutional critique may be lethal to state power’s illusion of legitmacy. When state legiitimacy ends, the state ceases to exist.  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; civil history outside art history?  The art market banishes blacklisted artists to the undiscoverable, no place-places, beyond history or memory.


Lucy Lippard in MIXED BLESSINGS writes, the capitalist art market post WWII, excluded representational artworks with social and spiritual content (market politicization against capitalist critique, the whitelist).  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 enslavement of the poor for capital extraction, and U.S.’s perpetual wars of acquisition from puritan times to present, in short the foundation of capitalists “prosperity” are the socio-spiritual soul-matter suppressed by the state.  How can art flourish malnourished?  As Lippard’s text states, artistic reflection of our shared socio-spiritual experience is whitelisted from the arts as within history proper (the empire’s war-profit combines oligarchic prosperity and domination, should be present even in Polack. Can non-violent, consciousness raising, socio-spiritual art practice, actually endanger imperialism? Let’s hope so.  10.6.20  Wayne Coe