Patricia by Patricia

Patricia by Patricia
Patricia by Patricia

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Role of the Arts in Defining Democracy

WRDSMITH from Sidewalk Activism at the Oceanside Museum of Art

Random thoughts from February 2020

I was taught early in my art career to use the technique of compare and contrast to help me make decisions about art works. To me, this means looking at how things are similar, aligned, symmetric, balanced and how are they different, exciting, challenging.  In my own head, this debate is constantly happening.

I know it is irrational but I honestly want conflicting things to happen. For example, I don’t want urban sprawl or high rises, but I do want affordable housing. I want to feel stimulated by beautiful images, but I also want content that sustains my interest. I want to see art on the streets, but I respect people’s property rights.

I realize that I have avoided having political discussions with certain friends as the disagreements are so uncomfortable. But I realize that uncomfortable is sometimes necessary to prevent another holocaust or be ruled unfairly.  

I use my yoga breathing to accept that these are times that are troubling and confusing and know because of current circumstances that is the correct way to feel.

I am not a historian or a philosopher, but as a spunky little American, I feel it in my gut that democracy is a good thing. I just need to define what I mean by democracy. Maybe the struggle to define democracy is a role for art. Maybe democracy is the right to compare and contrast.

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