Monday, February 11, 2008

Art and Politics

Read this piece in the Washington Post by Leon Fleisher if you have a chance. (Via ACB at The Concert and Will over email)

1 comment:

dkz said...

Hi Nick - how I miss you and Jeremy!

Thanks for posting this. I mean not one ounce of disrespect to Leon F, whose teaching and playing I rabidly admire...but this reads more like an apology to me than anything else. I understand why he might not have the strength to refuse an honor from an administration he loathes. Who doesn't love honors? And those who decided to give it to him (certainly not GWB himself) may have been people who agree with his politics - or maybe not, it's impossible to say. But wouldn't it have been something to have an artist of Fleischer's caliber refuse to accept the honor?

Easy for me to speculate - I'll never be in the position to refuse or accept such accolades. But in my opinion - respectfully - it's not much of a statemnet to take up your Kennedy Center award with a peace sign around your neck. That's why you have to write a newspaper piece about it later - because nobody noticed.

This is an interesting topic for all of us involved in big art, though. People and corporations with lots of money support us. How far can we go in protesting the politics of our supporters? How far will we go? Maybe more to the point - how much do we tend to inform ourselves about how and by whom we make our livings?

Yikes...I'd better get myself some more coffee.