The politics in our country reminds me of some “art” I had once seen and
which led me to exclaim: “But is it art?”
got me thrown out of a fashionable London gallery.
The “art” I
was looking at was a cordoned-off, unmade bed of an apparently slatternly
single woman who transplanted it, complete with filthy sheets, a used
condom, cigarette ends and dirty panties straight from her house to the
The “bed” was
her exhibit. It was supposed to jolt me into thinking and questioning, which
is what great art supposedly does.
thought she took the adage of “washing your dirty linen in public” too
at Britain’s prestigious Turner exhibition, I stopped at one particular
exhibit and ranted to my husband that I “couldn’t believe people got away
with such nonsense. Why were we paying to see nothing?”
was a bare room where a single light went on and off the way it does when a
bulb is about to blow, or T&TEC is warning us of an impending blackout due
was a contender for the Turner Prize. Two months later he won. I felt
vindicated when Madonna swore on live television as she presented the prize
of £25,000 to him.
celebrity who makes money by being superficial thought it was crap.
which, I also saw the series of paintings where the artist used actual
elephant dung, smuggled from Africa and the London Zoo, dried it in an
airing cupboard to produce his “work.” The artist won the Turner Prize of
I also saw
the “important” exhibit of a cow and calf bisected and suspended in
formaldehyde. Unsurprisingly, this also won the Turner Prize.
justify it, saying it “stimulates debate.” How much can you talk about dung?
And say it’s art?
been turning to the people around me asking: “But is it politics?”
But I have to
admit this: The exhibit showing a woman’s most private life brought out the
worst in me—a transient, mindless, cheap, voyeuristic thrill.
Even crap is
addictive. Obviously, I was hooked. Why else would I go back?
current politics in this country is entertaining. I have watched people tune
into radio stations for broadcasts of political meetings they same way they
do to a Stag three-car giveaway.
I have asked:
“Why do you listen to this?” I hear the reply because “it’s kicks.”
I have asked:
“Is any politician talking about the things that affect your life and that
you care about, like crime, long-term jobs, healthcare and transport?
“No; I know who I voting for already. Nothing anybody says will make me
change my mind. Only something drastic like if they take away Cepep. But
they all promising more Cepep not less.
election time, Indian vote for Indian, African vote for African, and
everybody knows that. I want to see how Dookeran and Panday chop up those
or no protests over Eddie, Valley, Hinds you know if Manning put a donkey in
their constituencies, come election day people will vote for that.”
If you can
have that conversation ten times a day and get a similar response, you know
you are up for another of our race-based elections, where people, who are
deliberately kept dependant, clamour around politicians asking “what you
have for us?”
party that tempts me now is The Environmental (sic) Reform Act. They put out
a one-page, incredibly ungrammatical manifesto with 30 short points such as
How do we
explain our politics to an outsider who asks about the “ideology” of our
various parties? “Err, ideology; say what?”
In this case,
as life imitates art, we ask. “But is it politics?” Or dung?
If anyone says to me: “If you don’t like it,
leave.” I’ll say: “But I’m hooked.”