Image

READER GEORGE OZMON (ARTIST FROM CLEVELAND, OHIO) THINKS THAT WORKS OF ART OWNED BY THE STATE SHOULD BE LIQUIDATED TO BALANCE PUBLIC DEFICIT:

‘Nice exploration Rodrigo (click here to read the exploration he is referring to) 

Please bear with me on this long journey, before I arrive at the art portion.

This topic is about governance, not art. These past several years have seen an international economy in turmoil. Most pundits and the general public (in the US) find it easy (and painfully politically correct), to blame as the obvious culprits: bankers and Wall Street.

But if one explores the issues more deeply, it seems to me that Government policies and regulations influence corporate decision-making, push it into realms of dubious value, and sometimes dramatic consequence. That means bankers and Wall Street.

One has to realize that some Govt. policies, and almost all regulations, are about granting advantages to the larger corporations to stifle competition. Regulation is also step #1 if you want to create lobbyists. Of course, it’s all packaged as having a social benefit, protecting the consumer, leveling the playing field, helping the disenfranchised/victims… These are the causes of “increasingly unequal society” as stated.

The point is that the article correctly implies Govt. favoritism towards powerful constituencies, ignoring societal priorities, enforcing laws selectively or ignoring them altogether. Fiscal irresponsibility, perverse incentives, reckless spending, and generally horrible governance have been building for decades, from the local levels to the National.

The US historically had a tremendous and deserved reputation that it was the Rule of Law and our Constitution that allowed liberty, individuality, and opportunity, to flourish. This was reflected in a perpetually booming economy, in hand with advances in a variety of fields, ultimately leading to a rise in the standard of living. It’s highly questionable whether this continues to be the case.

In the US, Detroit has become the poster-boy for corruption and mismanagement. As it happens, the legal entity that is the city owns 5% of the artworks at the Museum.

Bankruptcy laws pretty much require the legal entity to monetize its assets, to sell the art.
We artists, or general supporters of the arts, cringe and condemn this idea. However, we need to understand that if the work is deemed too important a civic asset for the legal entity that is the city to liquidate, then it will be another example of laws suspended or twisted to accommodate the moment.

Personally I think the work should be liquidated. Sorry if I’m making anybody rip their hair out screaming…I just think actions have consequences. The people of Detroit perpetually supported corrupt, incompetent, irresponsible public servants for decades on end, for their own vested interests.

An issue of this magnitude should have the effect of focusing attention on the role of Government, from local to National, responsible stewardship, fiscal accountability, and consequences of wayward public policies.

As it relates to art, if governments demonstrate favoritism, crony capitalism, fiscal recklessness and disregard for public responsibility, why would any rational individual then think it’s a good idea to trust them to be stewards of the highest forms of cultural achievement: Art?

Thanks for indulging me, to contribute the longest political diatribe on any art issue…’