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Geometer magazine calls for essays responding to the theme of politics and
art - whether historical or contemporary, subversive or establishment.
Art and Politics have long had an uneasy relationship - from Plato's
dismissal of the artists from his republic, through the dangerous politics
that infused literary modernism, right up to recent revelations and
accusations concerning the tangled involvements of Gunter Grass and Milan
Kundera in their respective countries' darker days.
When we think about political art we tend to pick out specific involvements
and often see political art as a separate species - the preserve of protest
singers, polemicists, and self-proclaimed social "realists" - but to some
degree it has to be true that all art is political. In what it assumes as
much as what it questions, and in what it makes visible as much as in what
it conceals art cannot but involve itself in the conditions of the wider
world. Does the properly political role of art lie in the intricate working
out and tracing of these tangled interconnections - as in J.H. Prynne's
mingling of the etymologies of economics, science, love, and desire, or is
it enough to testify to the conditions of our immediate experience without
such heavy excavation?
And what of supposedly abstract art? What are we to think of the promotion
of Jackson Pollock and abstract expressionism by the CIA? Weren't the
furthest extremes of John Coltrane's interstellar free jazz inspired by
dreams of liberation? Even so celebratedly abstract an art form as music
cannot escape it's roots in the world. From Bartok and Ralph Vaughan
Williams through to Black Metal, musicians have mobilised folk forms in the
service of nationalism and ethnic identity, American tanks rolled into
Baghdad blaring out Metallica's Enter Sandman, and musicians and thinkers
as diverse as Adorno, Brecht, Cardew, Black Flag and the rave sound systems
of the 90s have questioned the politics of the site, means and material of
musical performance. To quote the title of Eddie Prevost's most recent book
- "No Sound is Innocent".
The questions proliferate endlessly: If the relationship between politics
and art is inevitable, structural, innate, then what does that mean for the
artist, or for the reader. Can art's past transgressions in the political
arena be redeemed â€“ should they be, how and on what terms? Most political
art is characteristically revolutionary, but need this be the case - is it
necessary and is it desirable that it be so?
Geometer Magazine calls for submissions in any format and from any
discipline engaging with these and related questions, whether directly as
issues in your own personal practice, or indirectly through discussion of
the work of particular artists, writers, musicians or movements. We welcome
essay, artwork, interview, fiction and poetry.
Please send a brief summary of your proposed submission to
Closing date for proposals: 30rd November. Closing date for submissions:
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Received on Tue Nov 11 2008 - 15:28:13 EST