ART vs COMMUNITY

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“ART is not the work of any community or in the name of any community or with any community’s aid or permission. The Community is already busy expressing itself when the Artist comes along; the expression of the Community is in the choral voice of flags, school plays, Rotary Clubs, dog fights, bake sales, church picnics, débutante balls, gossip, hate crimes, scarlet letters, Xmas pageants, multi-generational incest, parades, state fairs and local celebrities, et al. It is the ubiquity of Community’s expression (or its monetized, government-mediated, nationalist pseudo-expression) which calls forth an individualistic response from the rare (anti-) citizen; ie: ART is the individualistic expression in opposition to the Community and its oppressively-levelling ordinances/ traditions/ taboos… its  consensus-seeking sensibilities and legacy-bourgeois aesthetic. The Community generates a utilitarian (often parodic) ersatz of Art, called Craft, and that’s what some think they mean when they think they’re asserting the necessity of the ‘community’ to the Artist and to ART. ART exists to smash the Community into discreet moments of individual contemplation, for as long as these moments endure, restoring, via trickery, to each body seduced into contemplation, a Self.”

—Pastor Prime in ’89

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR [letters are vetted for cogency and style]

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