Thursday, January 22, 2004

A last reluctant word about Snow White.
The truth is I think the piece is brilliant. In all honesty, I must admit that, if I were not emotionally involved, I would love it.

But I am emotionally involved and it makes me feel sick. I can’t love it because for me it is too cruel, too filled with cold spite. If something is brilliant, it isn’t automatically right.

It seems to me that, sometimes, maybe, artists and other very talented people have become so full of themselves that they have lost the ability of self-censorship. Maybe they feel that if it came out of them, and it is brilliant, it must be okay, it must be right. Maybe it is. But if it provokes anger, violence, and resentment then maybe it isn't.

And yet, isn’t the goal of art to hit us where it hurts?

Surely though, if he wanted to touch us, to make a difference, he should have made an effort to exhibit his piece in what he calls the Apartheid State, and not in the safety and security of a distant land, where most people find it easy to see his point of view, because they are not emotionally involved; because it’s not their children whose lives are on the line every time they get on a bus, or go to a mall; because they haven’t had to use their army for the last two hundred years, and don’t really understand what it means to live in a state of continuous conflict; because no one questions the legitimacy of their very existence or sees it as a source of grave danger to the world.