Mick Heaney , Arts vs politics: We haven’t got the balance right

This brief post comprises a link to Mick Heaney’s article ( Irish Times ,  18/11/2011 )  regarding a symbiotic relation between the politics of the State and Irish Arts in Ireland.

I have decided to link the article here,  as blogging is a way of retaining record of items of interest that might otherwise be subsumed beneath current issues. I was unsure whether I should provide excerpts from  the Heaney article , or to try and create a contextualisation for my reaction to the piece in terms of previous arts posts that are collected here on Poethead.

In the end I decided that the issue of Arts vs Politics is too important against any attempt of mine to extract pithy comment from it for readers. I have decided to limit this post to a full link to the piece, and some relevant links to what I consider to be a deep and unchallenged cultural ossification that was set in motion in 2003 by the De Valeresque Arts Act introduced by Seán O Donoghue T.D (Fianna Fáil), that not alone remains on our statute but was unchallenged by the current government in a single party manifesto in the run up to the last Irish general election.

It seems that our current politicians do not have any ideas about art in its cultural context save their continued financing through the flawed 2003 Act, and the realisation of the arts as an extension of the business of government, which was the main thrust of that Act. A symbiotic relationship between the narrative of the state and the work of the artist can only lead to one thing , the lessening of the independence of the arts rather than the ennobling of the State: State Art , or art as an expression  or extension of the concerns of state. (an equation for disaster if ever I saw one)

Related links for Mick Heaney ‘Arts vs Politics ‘ : 

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