Since the ancient times, the control system has never left, just different degrees of tightness, and the changes in the performance of the method. At every moment when we are existing in this world, there is no absolute personal independence. At the same time, in every area, we have never had the freedom of the individual, including the so-called free art field.
The behavior that against system and authority never stop, and the methods that people against the system of control are also changing. At the same time, the reasons why do we have to leave this control are also different because of individual differences.In the feudal society in the past, people used armed forces to overthrow the rule of the feudal class. At the end of nineteenth Century, the strike played a key role in the period of industrial revolution, succeeded in forcing governments to change policies, or even made government collapse. After entering the twentieth Century, people through non-cooperation movement to against colonialism. In movement of occupying Wall Street in New York, the purpose of people is to resist the greed of the authority of the international group which leaded some unfair phenomenons generally existing in society. This movement also againsted monopoly of capitalism, and negative impacts made by global authoritative conglomerate in terms of political and legal aspects in global economic crisis. Until today, the demonstrations can be seen everywhere. In the process of art development, also experienced a series of revolt in order to against authority, which is a movement againsting the mainstream culture. This movement began in twentieth Century, form dada, Fluxus art until conceptual art. The author of this paper thinks that art is a spokesperson of capitalism and communism in cultural value. Those artists who blindly cater to this art authority without thinking, their essence is no difference with a disorderly crowd. This article will introduce the view from five aspects, illustrate the reason why politics start to become as a language in the expression of art; introduce the system of society under the background of the authority of art; list other anti-mainstream artists, and their core values; explains why the author thinks those artists who are sequacious have no Independent thought; finally present author's works and ideas.
In the development of society, human always played the most important role in this process. The development of society, in another word, is the development of human. Because people are social creatures, so the community began to appear in the world, and then the society started to appear. Because each person's environment of growth and educational experience are different, therefore everyone's ideas are different, and each thing to different people, have different meanings. This is the reason why politics appeared since everyone's ideas are different. Politics is everywhere in the developmental process of our society .To explain this idea simply, politics will exist in the world , if there are people. It is undeniable that there are many people who don't like the word politics, and refuse to talk about politics, which has many sorts of reasons. some even think if they don't discuss politics, it will not exist, however, this idea is not mature. At the same time, this also does not mean that politics does not exist in their lives since whether we like it or not, we are in the world of politics, and this world not only has constructed our society, the results of its operation will also determine the future of our next generation. As far as i am thinking, the reason why we focus on politics is because we need freedom in expressing ourselves. Consequently, politics start to become as a language in the expression of art. Contemporary art is a kind of political art, to some extent,it even has political allegory. The compenporary art have some obvious characteristics, namely trail-blazing sprit, radical behavior,and experimental thinking. These characteristics are the causes of debate. From another point of view, why we discuss a problem is because it has some active value of debate, and its prospective charm. A truth is undeniable, every advanced value of civilization which has trail-blazing sprit is the result of contradiction.This process is between recognition and denial in terms of ideas, negative and positive ideology, and it is even a history of conversion. The supporters for the radical idea of art hold that, in any case, the freedom of art should be respected,however, the conservative camp (essentially is a sort of climber of cultural power)questioned the practical purpose of this art and even who they are serving to.The conscious attitude of main stream power is either this or that, thoroughly rejecting art value of experiment, and radical ideas. This ideology is the essence of the authority of art.
In different social systems, the art forms of authority is different, but its essence is just a spokesman of cultural values of capitalism and communism, and its function is same. This point is also mentioned in a book called Realizing the impossible: art against authority edited by Josh Macphee and Erik Reuland.This idea is explained like this, both of these ideologies use different language to make the same basic claim: the former states that all art is simply a product of class antagonisms, or in other words, art is the result of the prevailing economic conditions(currently, market capitalism); and the latter demands that all cultural production should be squeezed into the market system, or in the logic of capitalism, the primary productive use of art is economic. In this artistic authority, other forms of art are hard to be accepted. They could be accepted only after self transformation, since this art authority only believe in absolute correctness of itself and exclusiveness of cultual which is higher than other cultural. This art authority is not only the eternal aesthetic standards of classicism, in the evolving process, it also became the opposition of class mentioned in communism before, and the criteria of evaluation in capitalism that art works must have value in financial market.The totalitarian system requires art either to serve the power, or to be destroyed, and there is no room for negotiation. Lenin once used a thunderous voice and sentenced Lunacharski (Soviet literary critic) and Mayakovsky’s death in theatre. In this system, as an artist, our choice is nothing more than either compromise this authority of art, or against this authority.
The reason that artists against the authority of the art is that most of them do not accept the judgment mechanism of the cultural value, and it also can be rised to be an atitude that refuse the recognition of the mainstream culture. Although our art might be rooted in an attempt to achieve some sort of liberated self-expression, as artists we also create in order to communicate. This paper mainly lists three artists, as well as their works to explain the importance of experimental spirit in againsting system.Austrian artist, Owen Wurm, in his artistic creation constantly explore the difinition of sculpture, and try to make it broader. This is all the contemporary artists are trying to conduct at the same time, making the definition of art more extensive. He put forward such a concept, in what sort of time and circumstances we think a work is a sculpture, why this is sculpture, why this isn't sculpture. At the same time, he also believes that people in this society were wrapped in anxiety, and consumed by this way. Therefore, in his works, it is not difficult to see an absurd and relaxing method to make works. British artist, Martin Creed, also try to put his works in the same kind of exploration, the core concept as he said is attempt to let minimal art becomes fewer.In his work, the lights going on and off, experienced a great controversy in the selection process of the Turner prize since most reviewers cannot accept this non-narrative and non-content form. This short period of pain is inevitable, however, this work finally being recognized by the mechanism of artistic judgment since his work still can be interpreted through minimalism.If it is said that today's judgment mechanism could not be able to understand the new concept of art without relying on previous ideas of art,then every attemptation we did in order to against mainstream art,in some extent, are not pure. Ernst Cassirer once said that with the development of people symbolic activity, physical reality seems to be reduced in proportion, and people do not face the things around them , but just constantly talk to themselves. They are completely wrapped in the form of language, art image, myth symbol or religious ritual, as a result,they are not able to see or understand anything without artificial media.When it comes to artists who always against system, it is hard to ignore Chinese artist,namely Ai Weiwei. In his artistic creation, he always try to against existing political system of China.When all the artists are discussing the artistic breakthrough in their work, Ai Weiwei just focus on politics. It is because contemporary art itself is political art. All of his works are based on the inequality and social injustice made by totalitarianism of chinese government. In May 12, 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, a large number of school collapsed lead to a large number of students were killed, the quality of the school buildings was widely questioned. At the same time,government refused to disclose the number of students who died in the earthquake. Therefore, Ai Weiwei launched an activity of investigation about the 5.12 earthquake in the network, and appealed volunteers to investigate the 5.12 earthquake victims list. As a result, hundreds of volunteers signed up to participate in this survey. Finally, he released a large voice work on the network called Remembrance, using thousands of people to read the names of 5196 students dead in that earthquake, in order to remember the 5.12 Wenchuan earthquake victims.
Now, it is important to explain why i think those artists who blindly cater to this art authority without thinking, their essence is no difference with a disorderly crowd. The crowd, was written by Gustave Le Bon, mainly research in mass psychology and the state of mind when group is regarded as a biology. In this book, he pointed out that all groups have such a common feature, as member of this group, people, no matter who he is, whether there is much difference between his way of life, no matter what is his occupation, whether he is male or female, regardless of his IQ is high or low, as long as they are together as a group, then they have a common psychology, namely collective psychology. This book also pointed out that the method of thinking of a group is depended on image, and there are essential differences beteen this way of thinking and rational way of thinking of independent individual , ultimately lead to different results. Groups at the same time, also has a conservative instinct to all traditional things including traditional system with an absolute infatuation and reverence. However, to those new things which may change their basic living state, they have a sort of unconscious fear rooted in their deep heart. what kind of idea could be accepted by the masses, Gustave Le Bon pointed out that the masses only accept simple ideas. The first category is those concepts of fashion, because thsi concept is produced by environmental impact, consequently it is very easy to be fascinated, but the vitality of this concept is very short and rarely be able to play a lasting impact. The second category is basic concepts, such as religious ideas of the past, and today's socialistm and democratic ideas. It also makes the method how to let people accept the new concept become a process in transformation of new concept. Because only simple and clear concept could be accepted by the group. However, not all ideas are simple and clear, to make it more easily to be accepted by the group, it is necessary to have a thorough transformation in order to make it easier to understand. Especially those profound concepts in philosophy or science, it is impossible for the masses with poor intelligence to accept them, therefore, the transformation of those concepts should be more thorough.But in any case, the direction of reform must be vulgar and simple. It is not difficult to understand that those artists who only rely on image to think, and only accept the basic concepts, are just a sort of attachment of cultual power, their essence is no difference with a disorderly crowd.
In my personal creation, there is a constant challenging to the authority of art. At the same time, i also against artistic authority. This confrontation is similar to Proudhon's anarchism, while rejecting capitalism and communism. However, i also deeply realize the limitations of anarchism in my fellowing research, the essence of this ideology is Utopia which is far away from the reality. Max Blechman once said that an anarchist society is impossible, however artistic activity is the process of realizing the impossible. Indeed, in my opinion, the vast majority of the artists are trying to construst a utopia which is convinced by themselves in their creation. If it is true that anarchism is the antithesis of capitalism and communism, therefore, anti-Utopian is the antithesis of anarchism. This point is manifested in many literary works, such as Brave New World written by Aldous Leonard Huxley, We written by Yevgeny Zamyatin, and George Orwell’s 1984 and animal farm. The relation beteen creation, politics, and society always construct the guideline in my works, at the same time when we express ourselves, I think it is also necessary to question those existing problems of this society. If the driving force behind the creation of works of art is to solve the problem, I tend to use a simple, ironic and humorous ways to deal with those problems. At the same time, I want to say is that this approach is inspired by the concept proposed in Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business written by Neil Postman. Visual sense as art language, can not reproduce intrinsic, distant, intangible, and abstract things, which is the reason why i always use some simple words in my works. Consequently, what i would like to study is, in what kind of critical point, we believe that a work has narrative, whether there is a minimum critical point in the use of words, while making an unconscious thing with narrative. Daniel J.Boorstin once explained about hints in terms of revolutiona of images is that the center position of images weakened the information, news and even traditional definition of reality in a certain extent. From the early billboards, posters and advertisements to the later news, magazines and newspapers, pictures drive text into the background, sometimes, even simply clear out of text. For millions of people, watching has replaced reading, as the basis of judgment. For a long time, the concepts of art works are conveyed via a visual method, which makes the vast majority of the audience subconsciously generated a sense of inertial thinking which is depending on visual sense, therefore, I hope that my work is not only used to be watched, but also have to be read.
To sum up, this paper has mainly explained the reason why artists began to use the politics as a kind of art language, illustrating the feature of authority of art under different social systems, and the reason why we have to against the authority of art, at the same time, criticizing the essence of those artists who blindly cater to this authority of art, through listing three artists and author’s works and ideas to prove why contemporary art must have the character of experimental and pioneering spirit.