Voice AND Heritage
Yesterday Bill reiterated his concern that "It feels as if "creativity" in all its permutations pushes us toward "voice" and "awakening the imagination." It's difficult to bring heritage into creativity, I think..." I don't agree with this and I think Bill's concern may have embedded in it a kind of cultural bias. It is often true that within the institutions that purvey and sustain a mainstream European (forgive the reductive terms) culture and heritage, the notion of "creativity" privileges voice over heritage and as such an emphasis on creativity seems to pose a threat to the sustainability or equal weight of heritage.
But in other communities, for example the newcomer communities in Philadelphia that include Cambodian and Hmong groups, the enterprise of young artists is specifically to synthesize voice and heritage, or at least to negotiate a balanced relationship between the two. These artists start from a stance of exploring their own creative expression but do so overtly within the context of the cultural heritage from which they come. Russell's example of the graffiti artist's encounter with conservators is another example of a more nuanced relationship between voice and heritage.
I keep returning to Jim Early's previous post and comment because one of the things he is talking about also seems to connect to this subject--that we have yet to give equal privilege and value to cultural expressions from all quarters in our consideration of the cultural landscape and our current, limited and flawed, cultural policies.
Adrian Ellis; Alan Brown; Andras Szanto; Andrew Taylor; Bau Graves; Douglas McLennan; Ellen Lovell; Bill Ivey, William James; James Early; Jim Smith; Lewis Hyde; Marian Godfrey; Martha Bayles; Nihar Patel; Russell Taylor; Sam Jones; Steven Tepper
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