Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Kept Penn

Led by some Londoner named Penn Kemp, local artists are apparently stumping for more federal handouts again … or against cuts to existing funding programs as they would have it, but which is exactly the same as demanding more of the same again.

On the basis of general name recognition at least, few people anywhere would have any less claim to arts welfare payments than Ms. Kemp … or any of her Facebook friends for that matter. And just as much — or as little — can obviously be said for claims made on the entirely anonymous grounds of value to something called "our cultural identity as Canadians."

Self-importance and dependence on subsidies may make poor specimens for Canadian cultural identity, but they do make useful work as the cultural identity of Canadian artists to justify claims for more subsidies and importance, and vice versa. Who are Canadians to say anything about their own cultural identity? Still, Ms. Kemp's idea that artists deserve handouts because they "bring in a lot of money" deserves consideration as an especially artistic interpretation. Non-artists can only bring in money with the expectation of having to hand it out instead.

Bonus comment on Penn Kemp's Facebook:

In fairness to Angelina, the arts are only distant strangers to history in today's universities, but Germans in the Third Reich were practically tripping over state-funded art.

1 Comment:

Honey Pot said...

For chrissake', they wouldn't let Kemp be the last act at the St. Regis on a Monday night closing time. Trust me, they aren't a fussy bunch down there.

For someone to even suggest Kemps junk is even remotely artistic, would have to be in the deepest throes of dementia.