2014-08-27

all Artists are mad (so they say)..but are some madder than others?

http://www.vice.com/art-talk/jonathan-meese

J.Messe German idealist
"Meese-wikipedia" by Jan Bauer
The now [almost infamous] Messe talks (in the video - click link above if you've not seen it) about 'art-dictatorship' - he says how we all should be concerned about nothing in particular and allow 'play' to rule our lives, not allowing any ideology to get in the way of the natural life as a human being... 
...is he Mad? or just madder than the rest of us?
It got me thinking about insanity and art, a train of thought that has been around well before Freud and his analytical theories for the reasons in the variety of human behaviour and social interaction.
Another of Messe's videos also had me cynically wondering if by 'playing' mad in public an artist can land themselves a very nice living indeed. And without being good at anything let alone possess any talent. According to Messe [and the contemporary art institutions] that's absolutely the right way to go, it seems he is proving himself and them right. 


I got the inspiration for this blog whilst watching an extraordinary and perhaps a little disturbing video of an art discussion recorded in Israel 'starring'Jonathan Messe. It wasn't so much of a debate as an art rant, and Messe (at that time being considered by German authorities to be prosecuted for giving a Nazi salute as one of his 'Art-Experiences') was delivering his manifesto on Art-Dictatorship. The video is an hour long, so be warned, it gets boring, but if you can stick it out to the end then you will perhaps understand why I consider that this artist is playing to the gallery - much more than others or even he himself knows.

The topic under discussion 'insanity and Art' is a big one- And I'm pretty sure everyone has an opinion on it- But, rather than just me witter on with my own viewpoint I'm going to ask other visual artists to share their views on the subject - I hope to publish a selection of alternative on the next blog
 "thinking outside the Box" - ©Denis 2014
In between time. here's a little historical take from a scientific point of view - 'experts' suggest that being in full control of the brain is inhibiting, from a creative standpoint. Frederik Ullen, a cognitive scientist at Karolinska institute in Sweden says, "Thinking outside the box might be facilitated by having a somewhat less intact box"
In other words, it's better to be out of your mind than in it, when creating art. Really? As an artist myself, I've always found it better to be in direct contact with the real person inside, rather than the outside facsimile that manifests itself in every day life.

And further back, in 1933 a professor of psychiatry (Kay Redfield Jamison-John Hopkins University) concluded in a study that among "the artists she investigated the percentage of 'affective-disorders' was 10-30 times greater than in the 'normal' public"....Wow, now there's a statistic - no wonder my family and friends think I'm just a mad- artist, and not to be taken seriously (Jonathan Messe take note).

"Madness & Creativity go hand in hand (or glove)"  Said Sylvia Plath - an author and a poet who died in 1963.
Surely in 60's everyone was mad, the establishment said so, "What's all this free love crap all about, they are just mental, not living in the real world, etc etc"  The hippies did OK until all the free thinker leaders went on an extended acid trip, one that ended up as a heroin shoot up, and eventually killed them all [and consequently the hippy movement as a recognizable power for the good of humanity]. Once again Jonathan Messe, take heed.

Insanity and Art...is it for real?