Welcome Mat to Our Future
No so very long ago art critics, dealers and curators dismissed political content in art as inherently marginal, a pollutant to serious aesthetic contemplation that produced no meaningful change in any case. The rise of social practice and leadership of a new generation of artists, writers and curators have decimated such posturing by virtue of artistic quality driven by talent informed by purpose. From Theaster Gates to Banksy to Ai Wei Wei to Patrisse Cullors the purity trope has been thoroughly laid to rest. Indeed, the deeply historical thread of political and social content in art, both its inherent aesthetic merits and frequent global impact are today better understood and widely accepted within the field.
With that in mind I welcome you to the first edition of The Democracy Chain Political eJournal. This platform is conceived to complement our sister publication devoted to reviews and columns focused on art critical discourse, the Visual Art Source Weekly Newsletter. Here we mandate a selection of our best art critics and artist/writers whose informed knowledge of both art and politics lead us to our new eJournal’s tagline, Political discourse from an art critical perspective.
This eJournal will be neither academic nor a news magazine nor a vehicle of ordinary political commentary. Neither will it be an art magazine masquerading political advocacy. It will tackle the public issues of our time from the perspective of professionals in the art field whose perspective and principles are rooted in art, culture and aesthetics.
Our maiden voyage focuses on a central topic, the Voting Rights Act that will soon come to a vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate. That will not be typical, but is driven by both the topic’s foundational importance and urgency, which the VRA most certainly is. Normally we expect more of a cacophony of voices and subjects competing for your attention. Opinions, we both hope and expect, will vary, but will always be rooted in fact, honesty and sound principles. Art also takes the long view, extrapolating possible futures and the paths that produce a virtuous process. The discussions we have today are the welcome mat to those possible futures
Because The Democracy Chain is registering as a 501(c)3, we are able to offer you the tax advantages of donating directly to TDC and to any of our contributing writers. By engaging and supporting this discourse you will find your own fresh motivation to actively participate in our American experiment with clarity of purpose and independence of mind in whatever manner you deem appropriate. The exceptional voices you will encounter here, together with your thoughtful attention and purposive involvement, will take us all closer to that more perfect union. We invite you to join us in this journey.
Los Angeles, June, 2021
* Payments to The Democracy Chain will be fully tax deductible upon 501(c)3 recognition. Any payments made during 2021 will be applicable when that recognition is received during 2021; in case this does not occur until after January 1 2022, payments made during 2021 may be rolled over to the 2022 tax year. Please consult with an accountant as applicable.
Editor: Bill Lasarow, Associate Editor: Peter Frank.
TDC Image: © 2021, Kim Abeles. TDC Bag Art: © 2021, Bill Lasarow.