ART is NOT “content”!


“I have long harboured an irrational loathing for the word “content”, especially when used as a casual stand-in to mean something like a film, a television show, or a piece of art or music. Scorsese argues that “the art of cinema is being systematically devalued, sidelined, demeaned, and reduced to its lowest common denominator, ‘content’ ”, noting that a word used almost exclusively in the context of business is now applied to “all moving images”. It is worse than that. It is used for everything. A song, say, is content, as is the material around it, as is an interview to promote it, as is a post by someone about how much they like it. Scorsese is taking a stand, but I worry that it is already too late” – Rebecca Nicholson – The Guardian 20.2.21


Re-reading Rebecca’s comments I would add to that though art has always been commodified – throughout history – it stems from a deep place inside the artist. Each of us believes we are somehow unique and that we have something to say which is different and valuable. Our art is a means for communicating our inner world. The challenge and often the tragedy is that when we share our art we expose our vulnerability. The list of creatives who have died does not need recounting here . We have to remember that creative genius David Bowie, the wisdom of his words – “I suppose for me as an artist it wasn’t always just about expressing my work; I really wanted, more than anything else, to contribute in some way to the culture I was living in”. He also said something along the lines of “once it is out there it is public property”.. This is hard for the artist, precious as we are, but the beauty of great art is that each person can find in it something of themselves and make of it what they choose!