The Monotonous Effect of the Tolerance Agenda in the Arts

“I stand corrected” is an idea that doesn’t seem to exist these days, definitely one I do not see in media. Saying those words take a bit of humbleness and one might be able to argue this is one thing lacking culturally.

Art and politics in my mind go hand in hand, meaning art reflects, and in some degree guides and influences culture and vice versa. Over the past five decades, but increasingly more-so over the last ten to thirteen years, the staunch push for tolerance via political operandi has started to contradict itself by resulting in vitriolic intolerance towards those who hold a different belief than others on certain topics, topics such as but not limited to, abortion, war, and marriage, just to name a few.

I will be the first to admit, I do not have it all figured out, and yes I do have to summon up strength externally to in essence, “bite my tongue,” until I can respond sincerely and humbly when disagreeing with someone who holds to a different position than myself. But like most art forms, I understand humbleness and sincerity are process-based that requires practice, much like an art-making process, and is one I will fail at times, but will not cease pursuing.

The prospective consequence of promoting tolerance while exercising intolerance towards art made from a different perspective or worldview is that galleries will end up with a linear, monotonous perspective on the walls and pedestals. The United States, with all its faults, has great potential representing the arts from a myriad of perspectives. And we do a lot of the time.

But ask yourself this, what perspective(s) is being represented when you visit a well-known contemporary museum of art such as The Guggenheim or The Whitney? I really see primarily one these days, secularism. And the same perspective year in and year out, after the initial aesthetic oo’s and ah’s, is just boring because it is a linear, one-sided perspective.

Of course linear presentation of art isn’t a great representation of our culture with all of our philosophies and religions because it negates a truer representation of our culture. Having lived in a Communist country I can say from firsthand experience when a culture eradicates ethereal perspectives such as ones from a religious worldview, it will become black-and-white, i.e. colorless, and/or just the same ‘ol urinal on a pedestal, which after a first viewing is just a urinal on a pedestal that triggers a want to actually use it for its intended purpose.

I would like to see artwork made by artists from every type of background represented in galleries and receptions that intermingled this pluralistic culture we live in. But I think we’re scared of the types of conversations that would commence. We’re scared of words, so we surround ourselves with like-minded individuals for emotional protection.

We can still share dreams without offending someone right?

truth Orwell

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