Social Sculpture Ramblings

For my birthday I was given a book; Simon Schama's The Power of Art (2009). What was interesting to me was how the French painter Jacques-Louis David painted That Picture of the murdered Marat in his bath (1793), but also creating the many huge revolutionary festivals and was part of the Committee of General Security which sent hundreds to the guillotined.

Fellow Thermal Shock member Bill Jeffery returned a copy of the NCECA (USA National Council on Education of the Ceramic Arts) 2009 Journal to me today. In an article titled Revisiting Basics to Behives: Three approaches to Social Engaged Arts Practice. Joshua Green summarises discussions on Artists as Social Activists. He claims the "Basics to Beehives" title was inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner influenced German Artist Joseph Beuys.

Joseph Beuys was an ex-Hitler Youth, who creating an "Art" manifesto which became a "fundamental document for the [German] Green Party in the 1977's.

In a strange twist of fate, Beuys, who at one time advocated the Berlin wall should be make taller becaue it would look better ;), developed the idea of "social sculpture", which is now the foundation of much social activism by artists today.

It will be interesting to see what ex-actor and now politician John Hyde does over the years within the Western Australian Parliment. Or ex-Midnight Oil lead singer Peter Garrett in the Australian Federal Parliment. Or see the outcome of Bill's lobbying on behalf of the elderly.

But perhaps my own interest is more focussed/narrow, in an investigation of the social and economic basis of the Art "system"....


  1. Interesting… I might try some of this on my blog, too. It’s quite interesting how you sometimes stop being innovative and just go for an accepted solution without actually trying to improve it…
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