According to Rob Møhlmann, reporting on abuse of power in the cultural and media world unfairly puts artists in a bad light.
In the DVHN commentary of 24. June it says: “We do not yet know half of what is happening in the cultural and media world of abuse of power, bullying and intimidation”. It is a reaction to a report from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
Of course, we have all heard of bad practices in culture and media countries before. It is also the area you score in, where media attention, advertising sales and merchandising count. Where really only one thing counts: money! And money is power and power can – it often happens – also be misused.
Therefore, it saddens me that two episodes later, the aforementioned bastard practice suddenly becomes associated with ‘art’. And suddenly, in this pandemonium, the “artist” is a fool and a bully. The author mentions an example of such a ‘artist’ with a high level of bullying: Mai Spijkers. Sorry, I’m thinking, is it not a publisher? Maybe also a bully, but at least not an artist.
Art on the one hand and culture and media on the other
I see it more often: the fusion of art on the one hand and culture and media on the other. Culture and media control a very large area of entertainment, which is actually not very special. That plan consists of many, and very diverse, areas of interest for the Great Medium around a core of potential perception, all of which are followed and nurtured by different Great Groups.
This great interest, as a consumer good in the atmosphere of relaxation, partying, discharge and group feeling, is often worth the money and therefore attention. It is ‘bread and games’ today, and there is nothing wrong with that in itself.
Art, on the other hand, is the special gift that is – usually – made by an individual. There is not even room for bully shops there unless the artist starts talking from. However, this is not normal and the artist is certainly not crazy, despite the romantic view of artists. And attention? Art hardly gets attention anyway.
Often on TV, as a celebrity, beautiful body
And another thing: you’re an artist, and you can not become that. Appears often on TV, is celebrities, good mouth or beautiful body; none of this makes you an artist. For almost any artist, being an artist means working in relative solitude on an oeuvre that no one wants but that one hopes people will see, feel, discover.
Usually this means whistling, falling a lot and getting up again and again, while it is precisely the artist who is often humiliated, bullied, mocked or accused of left-wing hobbies.
In the art-cultural confusion in the commentary, I also sense the myopic leveling of art from the 1960s and 1970s, where the slogan ‘everyone is an artist’ flourished. Stupid, of course, because creativity, of which everyone always has a certain dose, was childishly confused with art. We all know how to put a patch on a wound, or cut a torn nail, but oddly enough, it has not led to the slogan: ‘all a surgeon’. In 1965, the Ministry of Education, Arts and Science disappeared, and it became a Ministry of Culture, Leisure and Social Work.
None of them are a fool or a bully
I am a painter, author if necessary, and I also started a museum somewhere along the way. Not to make money (as if it were possible), but to make art. And then I got in touch with more than 200 renowned artists from all over the country. Artists who are serious about their vocations and professions. Of these, a small portion seem to be too humble in terms of their own qualities; three quarters simply modest; a small quarter a little more self-conscious; and a few maybe a little eccentric or slightly narcissistic, but … none of them are a fool or a bully as the commentary presents us with the artist of today.
Rob Møhlmann lives in Appingedam and is the artist-museum owner