The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #15411   Message #138993
Posted By: Frank Hamilton
20-Nov-99 - 09:28 PM
Thread Name: BS: Capitalism and the Arts
Subject: RE: BS: Capitalism and the Arts
I'm not disputing what you say about the control of the "folk arts" by the USSR. But there were touring companies from the Soviet Union that reflected a high level of artistry despite the "sanitized" aspect that you refer to.

My point was and still is that under a socialized government, it is still possible to have fine art that is state supported. How sanitized it gets is relative. When corporate sponsorship enters the arts field there is also a sanitizing effect by the sponsors themselves. This is inherent in any artistic pursuit that is capitalized by the state or the private sector.

I personally have never had any love for the regime in the USSR but state supported arts are by no means limited to the Communist Soviets. Even in a "murderous state", there is the possibility that some of the art state-supported may have it's own validity if it doesn't cross swords with the government. The Moiseyev group, Pianitsiky Chorus or the Alexandrov Choir, Andreyev Balalaika Orchestra are examples. In the same way, there is art that is deemed acceptible by the corporations in this country. The art can be valid and have it's own integrity if it doesn't cross swords with the corporate policies.

State-supported art doesn't have to follow the Bolshevik model by any means. The Library of Congress NEA Folkarts Division is certainly a good case i point. Folk music in this country would have been lost without it.

Don't look to CocaCola to subsidize the collecting, compilation and preservation of traditional American folk music 'cause it ain't gonna' happen. They might jump on the pop folkie bandwagon if they see a bottom line for them.

As I think of it, I don't recall a single artist who was an innovator in the field of music, painting or literature that was ever subsidized by a corporation. Private endowments have occasionally done this as a kind of patronage but that use is limited. And who is to say how much censorship, "sanitization" or creative control goes into this process on the part of the managers. I say that despite all of it's drawbacks, a good case can be made for state-supported art.

Frank Hamilton