Sunday, 27 December 2015

The Genius Famine in the arts

The 'genius famine' in art and music has been just as damaging as has the decline of genius in science and technology; and has contibuted to the alienation and demotivation characteristic of modernity. 

The 'last geniuses' in these fields - such as Picasso and Duchamp, Schoenberg and Stravinsky - left their subject in chaos (they were, in effect, 'evil geniuses').

In the century since, there have not been further geniuses of equivalent stature (or at least, not recognized geniuses) to re-order and re-energize these subjects; and who could re-connect them with the mass of non-expert people in Western societies. 

Thus art and music have declined into being either mass entertainment (commercial illustration, pop music); or at their hiighest status levels into elite professional subjects - sustained by subsidies from state bureacracies, and where the 'audiences' (such as they are, which is tiny) are critics, academicians and academics - plus financial speculators in the case of the Fine Arts.

Although this situation is dire, it is exactly the kind of impasse which a real genius - but only a genius - can see the way-out from.

The fact that we have remained stuck in this cul-de-sac for four generations is itself strong evidence for the reality of the genius famine.   

Note: The publication of my most recent book The Genius Famine (co-written with Ed Dutton) approaches in about one month -