Thursday, 1 June 2017

Culture as part of a wider attempt

Renewable energy, care for the environment, returning to small-scale businesses, the new urbanism movement in town planning which returns to the human scale and human needs, as well as the ongoing efforts to preserve through restoration and upkeep the monuments and cityscapes which have come to us from the past, the infinite efforts of historians to explore past realities, the efforts of the humanities at the universities, the continuous progress made in medical science, the ongoing efforts in social welfare.... they all reflect a world view and an image of the human being as something precious that demands understanding, effort, preservation and development in terms of quality. All this comes forth from a profound human instinct that wants to preserve life and improve its quality, in spite of and in the face of calamity, destructiveness, stupidity and nihilism. Now, a short look at the collections of modern art and an explorative visit at the new music festivals, which are still cultivating ideas of a very long time ago, one cannot avoid the conclusion that they are time capsules from barbaric periods of negativism. Why is it still around and celebrated in public spaces, with public money? Why are 'paintings' that no normal civilized person would ever consider taking in his house still sold for millions? Why are conservatories still feeding the innocent young with destructive and meaningless ideas, producing 'composers' for a scene that has lost all cultural meaning long ago?

Nature is cyclical: evolution has created a fragile balance and it remains to be seen whether human intervention will indeed destroy the balance on which we all are dependent. The creation of art is part of this evolution, of which the human being is the channel, and an important means of self-awareness and -definition. A world view which is entirely materialistic and driven by greed and nihilistic destruction, is working against life itself, and shows a failure to understand the better potentialities of mankind. New art which allies itself with the attempts to heal the world, is more viable, has more meaning than the modern art / music establishments could even begin to understand. The search for meaning in the arts is driven by the same urgency that drives the initiatives to save the planet, and preserve mankind. Building in such a way that human and civilizational needs are answered, painting figuratively with the aim to express some meaningful life experience, writing music that explores emotional depths, all this is part of the attempts at a renaissance of culture and thus, of mankind. Will it work? The Italian Renaissance took place in a period of great disturbances and political and social upheavals; may that knowledge be an encouraging and hopeful one.

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