The Nobel Prize, an international scope of reward given for the first time in 1901, is awarded each year to individuals “who have made the greatest benefit on mankind” in their inventions, discoveries and improvements in different areas of knowledge the more impressive by the literary work, or their work on behalf of peace, thus following the last wishes of Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite.
Five in all disciplines are rewarded creation: peace or diplomacy, literature, chemistry, physiology or medicine, and physics.
Something offends you? Me too, so I started again … why in 2016, the visual arts are absent from the prize list?
The art apart from the literature is in fact that very little represented. A Nobel Prize for the art it would be too complicated to be awarded? Or the art is it not enough beneficial to humanity for its place in this international event?
This is a reflection of our culture? A culture where literature historically maintains a preponderant place? Poets and writers have always been regarded as virtuosos words, people who managed to express what we mortals common poor, did not succeed in doing.
Alfred Nobel had asked the price had to go to people going in the ideal direction.
I still wonder what it means ideal? Unfortunately too often “ideal” rhymes with complicated or sophisticated nowadays. A popular writer for example, even if he has sold millions of copies will never have any chance to win a Nobel Prize. What about authors such as James Joyce and Nabokov, for example? They have never been a moment considered for a Nobel Prize …
So this reflection brings us back to art. I personally think that art today has as much, if not more, weight than literature. Artists are increasingly engaged and replace words with performances, sculptures, graffiti or other paints. The reaction to these works is almost immediate.
Some good examples: Ai Weiwei, Banksy or JR. All of different nationality and culture but with a common point. They are all struggling for a better world and more freedom.
Yes I know, it looks like a speech worthy of the biggest contenders in the contest of Miss World, but art expresses its increasingly fierce will to total freedom.
With our gain freedom over the years, the West has also acquired more responsibilities and strong contradictions. The harmony between cultures deteriorate and becomes abherrante. The immigration problems or intolerance are becoming more common and the technology that was supposed to make us freer and reach people around the world is to curl some people in their own loneliness, facing a screen LED, if creating a virtual life. What art is, on the contrary, gather all the dots of a complex drawing, item after item.
And it is in a “perfect” work, work that tends to realize certain ideals, the best express and expose them to the sight. The artist in this case succeeds in combining aesthetics to politics and to convey a strong message. At the same time, the advent of art practices called in situ (Land Art, Graffiti, Street Art) relocated the work in public space and food for thought on the work policy. The question of commitment can no longer ignore the techniques and media used, the nature of places of production and exhibition of the work or its intellectual and emotional impact on the audience.
So here are some extraordinary stories of ordinary and committed artists who deserve to beings recognized worldwide.
The collective Boa Mistura example is a Spanish urban public who decided to move to the Brazilian favelas in 2012. So they will dress the walls and the main aisles of the favelas with words representing the feelings of the people living there. Words like love, pride, beauty or Firmness. With a set of perspectives, all the people up the stairs as characteristics of favelas can see these messages of hope.
JR is another example, this is a street artist who brought him also a large project in a favela of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The project was called “women are heroes” and paid tribute to the role of women in society, which despite all victims of war crimes, rape or victims of religious fanaticism even today.
Another great artist with a big heart, Banksy is a mythical character of graffiti stage, it is somewhat seen by many as a modern troubadour. These works are incisive and have immediate impact. This attack any kind of subject. Although still limited, it owes its fame to its numerous works around the world that represents the contradictions of our present society. He has been invited to paint on the wall of Bethlehem there some years ago.
But Ai Weiwei is unquestionably the artist most committed in China. His animosity against the regime holds his personal history, his parents and his family were being deported to labor camps in 1957. Labor Camp where he will remain until his 17th birthday. The following year he founded with an artist collective group vanguard “the stars” and then went to live in New York. He returned to Beijing in 1993, dedicating so much more serious to his art. Jailed in April 2011, he was released on June 22 His work is huge, I’ll do an overview of his creations.
Weiwei’s work holds tremendous provocation. A teenage provocation, say almost reckless. Ai Weiwei violently disturbs the Chinese government, which as I have said, he was sentenced for “economic crimes”, and banned him from leaving the country. Weiwei is a photographer, musician, architect, conceptual artist, blogger, twitter follower of a man who is on all fronts. It brings art into life, through social networks, slamming the real and global social issues.
So I still wonder why visual art is not yet part of the Nobel prize list. Artists make the difference and are committed ausi that some policies to denounce the inequalities of this world. For many however, the art of today and especially the street art is still seen as an act of vandalism and not as a noble art to own right.
Hope that mentalities are changing gradually and the people making the effort to say out loud what everyone thinks everything down are recompmensées for their courage.
Art and music are part of us, although in this specific case, they are considered “poor” disciplines, while they enrich our perception of the world.