A marker of a society in retrenchment, in a dangerously defensive posture – is the simplification of symbols. There’s a tendency to rewrite x = x as x – y; purification math. A symbol can alternately exploit a brilliant capacity to unite – it invites fascination because it is inconclusive, like a fire. When fire is used as “The fire of…” – run.
Culture is the means by which we learn; we learn by directing our concentration into the undetermined.
If history were a river, would you build next to it? We need some distance from the literal.
There are times when art needs to divide, to be partisan, to stand up for a very clear principle… When that time passes, how to beat those swords? The Bogside murals still have stirring agency; how can their partisan message be made a part of a new culture that is inclusive of different inheritances? Same: Hutu/Tutsi, the Holocaust, Am. Civil Rights…