File spoon-archives/avant-garde.archive/avant-garde_1996/96-11-03.013, message 32

Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 12:44:40 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Blasphemy and the Avant-Garde

Maintaining 'what you think it is' through the gateway of 'what it will
become;' is the greatest art-lesson. The avant-garde is now sanctioned,
economically expedient and pre-disposed to favor its own replicated
hierarchy. Slashing all arts funding can be a positive purge. The a-g
bureaucrats (curators, professors, gallerists) in fact still receive
exorbitant funding and perhaps worse, perpetuate this self-serving
dependence and cynically 'crowd out' and 'contextualize' most significant
shifts. Truth is, the institutions of art today very rarely expedite
meaningful events, support working artists or contribute to the
communities that are forced to bankroll them. We've come to expect
elitist/restrictive, officious posturing and collegial pandering all in
the name-only of the avant-garde. Our art institutions at best deliver
some social cache for the board of directors and are high-class dating
services for patrons. More often than not Art education, rather than
respecting and supporting working itinerant artists on a serious scale,
merely spawns self-satisfied, tenured, mediocrity. 


I attended The Saint John Coltrane Church recently where the (jazz) music
and art inspire community and self-respect. The Minister plays sax and
conch-shell and the house-band Ohnedaruth, along with whatever players
have turned up in the congregation, churn out the rifts of John Coltrane. 
The bassist, Wanika King, would close her eyes and achieve the quiet focus
to carry forth the rhythm and the punctuated gospel message from the
Voices of Compassion choir. The life-sized icons of Saint John the Divine
Sound Baptist that adorn the walls of this storefront church are created
by Rev. Mark Dukes and adeptly incorporate a mannerist modeling that
recalls stylized inner-city tags. Here there is hope. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

The Saint John Coltrane Memorial Human Outreach Programs
351 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, California 94117 therefore brotherhood is there, and I believe with brotherhood there
would be no poverty... And also with brotherhood, there would be no war... 
					-Saint John Will-I-Am Coltrane

Love Inspired
Providing Works of Charity
Committed to Serving the Needs of the People

Free Hot Meals -- 27 years of continuous service, recognized by the
California State Legislature. Free hot vegetarian meals. No discrimination
as to race, creed, religious affiliation. Participants served as honored
guests. Including international travellers. 

Free Clothing -- Infant, children's program. Teen and single parents. 
Poor families, hospitals, shelters. Periodic distribution of coats, quilts
and blankets. 

Temporary Shelter -- Limited space available for teen parents, women with
children, orphans, men. 

Free Music Classes -- Music theory and practice. Music appreciation skills
clinics. Listening clinics - cd's, tapes, records. Instruments given by

Computer and Graphics Classes -- Macintosh Basic Skills Classes

CPR and First Aid Classes -- Basic life support for infants, children and
adults. Certification from the American Heart Association. Taught by
Registered Nurses. 

Saint John Coltrane Community Garden -- Providing a peaceful and
meditative meeting and prayer space. Voluntary service of the community
with gardening and upkeep.


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