|Moore portrait by the Northampton artist Lee Burrows|
Do you think art/literature etc still has a voice that can make any difference? Can it even be heard nowadays?
Of course art and literature make a difference. Increasingly, in a world dominated by booming governmental and corporate pronouncements, individual human voices are about the only things that can make a difference. Just using it as an example that‘s readily to hand, for whatever reason movements like Occupy or Anonymous have adopted the V for Vendetta mask and basic ethos it would still appear that they have taken some slight inspiration from the original work. And of course, there are the differences that art and literature have made which are only apparent in what we can‘t see: how much easier would it have been to totalitarian state in this country had Orwell and Huxley not written 1984 or Brave New World? I think the crucial point in your question is whether art and literate can still be heard in the clamour of contemporary society, or at least whether they can be heard clearly and free from distortion. The problem, it seems to me, lies in our modern construction of art being simply a category of entertainment. Classified thus, it‘s inevitable that almost all commercially successful art (and these days, if we speak of success, it is generally in a commercial sense) will be managed by an entertainment industry. The clue here is in the word "industry", in that such an enterprise will always place commercial considerations first and will in time condition the people hoping to work in such a field to do the same. What is the point, after all, of creating something exquisite and perfectly expressive of one‘s inmost feelings if there is no way of displaying one‘s creation to an audience of any kind? I see this attitude as being profoundly toxic, and deplore its apparent easy acceptance throughout today‘s supposedly creative community. In my own Blake, Bunyan and John Clare informed opinion, if you are lucky enough to have acquired artistic abilities then expressing them lucidly and eloquently without compromise is not your career, it is your job and your responsibility. If you are an artist, of whatever variety, I suggest that you are more likely to find satisfaction and meaning in your life by remaining loyal to yourself and to the integrity of your creation, rather than by pimping your muse to the first wealthy-looking customer to stroll along the boulevard. Art and literature can make an enormous difference, but only if they are genuinely art and literature as opposed to corporate-approved fanfares that only add to the already deafening level of cultural noise.