Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Artist as a Young Whore

I was asked to participate this morning in a paid interview - in cash, in the form a single piece of currency: the bill with the drunken general and the corrupt president - by the San Francisco Foundation, and it got me to thinking about my whorish nature, a term I use with the ultimate in positive connotations, as many whores are counted among my best friends, and I can only aspire to such clear thinking and take-charged-ness.

Anywho, getting to the point, it's clear that artists have always been quick to leech onto whomever is in power, regardless of their goodness or badness, in order to live their lives of dissipation, shrouding their selfish wants in pseudo-mystical-art-feeds-the-soul bologna. I'm reminded how, in de imperio tertio, we find the same willingness to suck at the monied teat of the all-father to further one's career, although, in the case which came to mind, it may not have been the best choice career-wise. Heinrich Hoffman, who became more-or-less the official photographer of the F├╝hrer, took the photograph above and many others, note especially those Hitler suffering the little Aryan Children to come unto him, but who, after the war, was imprisoned for profiteering and who had all his photographs seized and put into the US National Archives, the images themselves consigned to the public domain.

Leni Riefenstahl, shown naked above, who also had all her work expropriated by the incoming GIs, was never quite able to lie her way out of the stigma of being infatuated with the Nazis and Nazi ideals and, even though she was clearly one of the greatest aestheticians in the early days of the new art form, she was rejected by the world she and her friends had abused, project after project denied after the war. But she saw the slaughter of the Kinsk civilians, she chose the particular slave Gypsies for her films, she allowed them to be shipped to Auschwitz, she knew what was to happen to them but she litigated against all who said so, indefatigably, during her long long life. And who can forget Albert Speer, the one who apologized, but who was also only to eager to be seduced by the power and the money and the evil structure of which he became a part.

But I suppose the difference is that the artists of the US of today are happy to take the blood money and spend it biting the hand that fed them, and feeling entitled to the privilege all the same.
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