Carson Collins

Joined September 2007

I am a visual artist using mostly acrylic paint on canvas. I’ve been working on something that I call The Ocean Series since 1978....

The City Without Art

Let’s try to imagine the City Without Art.

At work,You can turn on the radio, but there’s no music. Music doesn’t exist. Just talk: news, opinion, advertising, propaganda…

At the end of your working day, you can’t go to the theatre, or the opera, or a concert, or the movies; they don’t exist. You can’t go home and get comfortable with a good book; there are no novels, no short stories, no poetry. None of these things exist.

You can go to a restaurant, but remember, the culinary arts don’t exist.

You can turn on the TV, but there are no movies, no comedies, no dramas. Just more talk talk talk and advertising. But even the ads have no element of art or music. They are not entertaining in any way.

You can read, maybe, the biography of a politician, a general, or a scientist (not a painter, or a singer, or an actor because there aren’t any), but the prose is going to be utterly dry; remember, there are no “writers” as we know them, because writing is an art.

The visual arts don’t exist either. No matter where you look, indoors or out, there are no gardens, no parks, no fountains, no sculptures. The buildings are not designed by architects. They are designed by accountants and engineers. Not only are they devoid of all ornament, they have been built with no thought to proportion or grace. There are no colored paints; whatever requires a coating to prevent oxidation is a dull red-brown. Everything else is the grey of unfinished concrete, except for the roofs, which are a dull, dirty white. All of them.

Inside, all furniture is exactly the same, whether you are in an office or a private residence. It’s been designed by orthopedists and accountants. There are no printed or patterned fabrics, not on the upholstery, not on the floors, not on the people’s clothing. There are no colors. Everything is utterly drab.

What would the clothing look like? Would there be windows? Go ahead, try to imagine it.

And then tell me humans don’t need art.

Journal Comments

  • Wendy  Slee
  • Philip Mitchell Graham
  • Philip Mitchell Graham
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