History remembers little of what man produces on a regular basis. History books are essentially filled with details of major conflicts, summaries of important social movements and scientific achievement and examples of works of art representing new conceptual perspectives. Of these, only the latter would appear to represent an unequivocally positive force.
Given the relatively conservative times in which we live, it seems therefore appropriate and important to insist that artists everywhere dedicate themselves to combatting the status quo in the cultural arena and being faithful to the tradition of seeking new uncharted regions to explore, new perspectives to develop and share and new challenges to take up - compromise and comfort being enemies to be avoided at all costs.
The incessant repetition of what others have done serves little social purpose. It is ego gratification at best, making us feel relevant when, in fact, we are little more than socially redundant pawns producing tired propaganda for a cause whose time has probably come and gone. Even in the service of nobler causes, it offers rapidly diminishing marginal returns. Sound harsh? I hope so. The situation is becoming dramatically depressing in some regions and calls for harsh words.
As artists, let’s dedicate ourselves to exploration in 2016, to leaving a mark on a page, however small and apparently insignificant, that will testify to our attempts to discover new ways of expressing ourselves about the world around us and the human condition that defines our progress. Let’s dedicate ourselves to evolving new ways of involving others in this process, leaving far behind the notion of art as a product to be consumed and replacing it with new forms of interactivity that stimulate debate and participation in ways that are in phase with the rapidly developing technological age in which we live.
It is time to move to the frontlines and to stop paying the slightest attention to the “batailles d'arrière-garde” that choke innovation and discovery. The photographic field and those who claim to defend its traditional interests are among the most active polluters. The motives of those who defend such battles are as irrelevant as the predictable results their outdated methods procure. These are watershed times that require decisive action.
There is still so much to be discovered.