Thursday Thoughts: Artists as Border-stalkers

Culture Care by Makoto Fujimura

Culture Care by Makoto Fujimura

I recently received a copy of Makoto Fujimura’s new book Culture Care. It has been enormously encouraging as an alternative portrait of the artist’s role in our hyper-industrialized and pragmatic culture. He describes art as a gift rather than a commodity to be hawked and hoarded. One of his ideas has had a particular resonance with my own experience. He describes artists as border-stalkers, those who live in the margins of society and who possess a gift for imagination and empathy. This gift allows them to move between “tribes” and build bridges, reminding different groups of their shared humanity. Despite the rapid increase in communication technologies we are fragmenting into increasingly narrow groups of politics, religion, and interests. Art is a doorway into the eyes of another and offers a glimpse of a different world. Unless we are exposed to something other than our Facebook news feed and dramatic headlines we will continue to grow inward, surrounding ourselves with others that have our same fears, weaknesses, and blind spots. Art is what opens up the world and artists are the traveling pilgrims bringing glimpses of the “world that ought to be” from tribe to tribe.

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Filed under Art, Jacob Rowan Studios, Thursday Thoughts

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