Friday, November 16, 2012
The New Now
Why and What if People Never Made Art
Kofi Fosu Forson
Art has been a part of my ideology and lineage seeing that my mother's side of the family The Telfers are extraordinary in their talent from music to theater and painting to the culinary arts. My father a well served journalist met my mother while she was a corporate writer. Certainly my writing ability stems from my mother and father.
Displacement is a word I have had to keep close to my conscience although I became aware of it and its relevance when I collaborated with Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney artist and philosopher from England on a project called Gender Space Art and Architecture where I worked in a virtual setting with another displaced artist living in England while I resided in New York.
This enduring process helped me understand much about my lineage and yes displacement from Accra, Ghana as my mother moved me and my brothers here to New York when I was ten. I have memories of Ghana but I don't own any center or relevance to the country in terms of philosophy or politics of language.
The project includes a video recording where I talk about this deficiency. Overall the project helped me come to an understanding that I am not rooted in many things central to what many do. Yes there are many displaced artists from different places around the world. Seemingly our experiences are similar. The differences becomes the innateness of my background reaching further into my Dutch lineage, thereby making it clear to me my virtual interaction with Miss Sweeney which dealt with many of this a subject makes a person unique given his or her relevance to others in life art, sex and politics.
Circumstantially I was never well received by the African Americans when I first moved to New York. Their immediate reaction was that I was different. They continued to pick on this fact. Those who were kind enough to express a friendship were Puerto Ricans, Whites and Black Americans who liked me for who I seemed to be. Further on in life Black Americans never became true friends of mine. Our relationships were artificial. Memories of highschool where I started a friendship with a black girl embarrassed myself one afternoon when I walked by too nervous to talk as her friends taunted me. At this point in my life my classmates were listening to early rap I listened to New Wave so there was always a division.
Post Basquiat the art world music as well was culturally and politically different. Blacks who were knowing of Basquiat did so for artificial reasons just as Warhol brought an artificial element to art. I have seen some of these black artists recently and from the past decade or so. Clear to me many of them are in it for the fame but on a neutral ground the attention amount of money and attraction from women. Many of them approach it as make art get money get laid. It is not clear to me what levels of philosophy these black artists bring to their art. Well understood that they are educated and articulate cleverly, it always comes across to me or at least they give off an impression of having had a street cultural background. The word "street" quote/unquote.
Interesting in this Obama second term to come art world how we see the privileged bandy about from galleries to parties without a clever or particular conscience of who they are and what they are doing. Seemingly the cult or persona of the person seems to be lost. It is not clear to me why people make art if not for making appearances.