I’m a goddamn hypocrite

Fantastic stock image off the internet

As I wrote to the brilliant Selina Thompson a few days ago, and partially in relation to a conversation I had with Aaron Wright of Fierce Festival on Facebook, I am in the process of seeing the extent to which I am a hypocrite in lots of ways. This particularly pertains to my professional life. Here are a few combos, many of which are related to one another:

Everyone can make art


The only art worth my attention is made by people who know what they’re doing in my terms

All culture is important, including vernacular, DIY and outsider forms


I want to be an arbiter of what is important and not important along with people who think like me

I want how the arts are organised to completely change because the systems are unjust


I just want to have more power in the systems because I am right and know best

There are endless ways to appreciate and value art


My values and measures are the right values and measures

We need a plurality of articulation around artmaking and artgoing which includes non-professional doers and thinkers


I have had education about this so I know better for sure how to articulate everything about my field

It is great to have people cut across disciplines e.g. architects in choreography, especially when it suits me


You can only be in or supported by a field if you know its full canon and, crucially, have suffered at the hands of its crap system i.e. ‘paid your dues’

An artist is a worker and should use worker-organising methods to improve their conditions (e.g. unions)


The category ‘professional artist’ should be dismantled so everyone can make stuff without it being a profession, with all the difficulty, exploitation, exclusion and creative stifling that that brings

I have thought in the past that the best way to deal with these doublethinks is to hold them within myself, managing myself as best I can, sort of ignoring bits and shrugging them off. Coronavirus is awful and watching an already-rotten government completely mould into a foul stink with no real hope for an alternative whilst actual human beings suffer the great, grave consequences has been terrible. Of course. Of course I would not have had life go like this. But what it has afforded me is a bit of time not to be scrabbling straight into the next thing, a bit of spaciousness in my life in the broadest way, and that has made me see not only the hypocrises in which I am engaging but also the weight of their psychical burden. I can’t go on like this. It is too disintegrating, too heavy. To overcome my hypocrisy might mean giving up a lot, probably a lot of what I am holding onto as some sort of essential value I have in myself. I have much more work to do. I’ll write more about some of this soon.