Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Food For Thought

I had lunch with Ben today, at the Blue Moon vegetarian/vegan cafe next to the cathedral in Sheffield city centre (UK: city centre // US: down town). I had a sweet-potato stew - delicious. Heading there, and while we ate, the conversation tasted good, too.

After lunch we wandered across to the Millennium Galleries to see The Designers Republic exhibition. The Designers Republic are, amongst other things, a commercial advertising agency, who also create artwork - as in this particular exhibition - that confronts our assumptions about, and exposes the 'dark-side' of, consumerism. Of course, the fact that they are in commercial advertising does deconstruct their deconstruction of materialism...but then, we reflected as we moved on again, this has always been the dilemma for the artist, whose role is to challenge the worldview of their society, but who requires a patron - who wishes the artist to produce propaganda in support of their worldview, the very worldview the artist seeks to challenge - to support them. Subversive? Selling-out? Symbiotic? Often Ben's wife Helen and my wife Jo find their respective husband's conversations to be so much pretentious twaddle...but then, as Ben put it today, it is their job to think that!

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