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OUR COLUMNIST AVILA REACTS TO MY INTERVIEW TO MATTHEW JAMES COLLINS’IN THE FOLLOWING WAY:

“MJC: Art naturally comes from art. Art History and it’s differing models have (in my opinion) had a negative impact on contemporary art production.”

That is an interesting answer. And it reflects the contemporary aspect of modern man for reaching to the stars. The problem, in my opinion, is that the bar has been set too low by any non-hippie standard. Let me explain:

I do not think it would be an exaggeration to say that the most important cultural movement of the twentieth century was the Hippie movement. With all its variations, innocence, lack of sophistication, and drugs, many of the cultural transformations that its followers produced in societies around the world remain unchallenged, even in our days. The movement arose in the United States during the mid-60’s spreading a peaceful fight against social restrictions and conventional traditions that prevailed in the States after the Second World War. The rigidity and the stiffness of the communities in which hippies evolved didn’t leave much room for the assimilation of the transformations that the country was going through, like the Vietnam War, or the American Civil Rights Movement for the integration of blacks in society, resulting in the invention of a new lifestyle with an independent conduct.

The yearning for a social alternative produced an individual search for consciousness which spread along the social strata. Like a big bazaar, people from distinctive backgrounds and customs, picked and chose what was more adequate for them. Some did drugs, others liked the fashion, but most loved the ability to think and express themselves in a different way. The possibility of transforming their minds to adapt to new circumstances proved irresistible to many, integrating into mainstream American society a greatly expanded knowledge of the environment, social relations, and political standards.

The hippies had a little conflict with the concept of technology. On one hand they tried to stay away from any technological event that could influence the mind and spirit in a negative manner. But on the other hand, technology helped them to see the world and acquire new knowledge for their philosophical views. All that was caused by a superfluous and incoherent way of thinking which for the most part was discarded by the majority of people who remained on the margins of the movement, developing the stage for mass tourism in their conquest to improve communications with other individuals.

The quest to find a universal connection between human beings, and their aversion to a materialistic existence, permeated an environment of spirituality and equality without precedent. It’s true that the majority of the population didn’t contribute much to that search, but the driving wedge that the Hippie movement produced in society was undeniable. Without knowing it, they represented the conscience of the time, dividing the past from the future. The fact that they, as a mass group of individuals were willing to listen and experience new avenues of enlightenment by expressing themselves with a great degree of freedom was quite shocking from any historical perspective, even though superficially their appearance resembled a rag tag army of nuts with long hair and mustaches.

Their demise was provoked, not by their unrealistic and philosophical points or view, but by their incapacity or unwillingness to include in their ideas the concept of a productive society. It was basically a sociological event, exempt of a general structure and organization with a regulatory body where all sorts of individuals contributed in some way or another with their personal opinions. They underestimated the technological advances that humans have developed throughout civilization, resorting in many cases to leave them behind in order to go to the mountains and experience a more natural way of life, only to discover that there it gets really cold in winter.

Of course, Jeff Koons and Co. are trying to balance all that in the opposite way, because one of the characteristics of “Art” is its decoration aspect which grows exponentially in people without imagination….’

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