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Amos and the the art of protest/ Why Ali was “the greatest”

In Uncategorized on 08/06/2016 at 5:06 pm

So Amos was back in the news. I’m sure he came back because he missed Mother Mary’s pampering to his every whim, and the publicity. But he must be disappointed that he’s history even though he was charged in court and assaulted in public. The ang moh tua kees have got their knickers wet over the Roy and Teo show, not Amos. Interestingly, they don’t give two hoots about the Indian TISG, even though P Ravi is now running the show.

Seriously, coming back to Boy Fantastic, I suspect he’s really a stupid, dumb kid (What to expect of boy who didn’t go to RI.? (OK, OK, I admit that  GCT,Kee Chui, Tan Jee Say and Tan Kin Lian are also RI boys) unable express (let alone understand) himself. I think he really wants to be a protest artist like Petr Pavlensky, Ai Weiwei, Theaster Gates and Beyonce, but can’t express or understand this honourable calling. Instead, he positions himself as mummy’s boy gone wrong.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Ai Weiwei and Beyonce, but not the other two.  Below is something on Petr Pavlensky and Theaster Gates http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-36163543 aboit.

Doesn’t Petr Pavlensky’s antics  make one think of Amos’ antics? The sewing of his mouth and the nailing for his scrotum reminds me of Amos’ self-inflicted stint at our very own Arkham. Both actions were avoidable but done to shock and sensationalise with the aim of making themselves celebrities: celebrities with a cause.

Petr Pavlensky is a Russian artist at the radical, Dadaist, end of the spectrum. His reference points include Guy Debord’s Situationist International movement, the Sex Pistols and Kazimir Malevich – and less obviously, Lucien Freud and Caravaggio.

He, like Beyonce, thinks there’s room for improvement in the way in which his country is run.

He too thinks there is oppression, police brutality, and corporate/state corruption. But he doesn’t have access to the sort of levers available to the US singer, and even if he did, I doubt he’d pull them in quite the same way.

Briefly. He started out at art school, but found the teaching dogmatic and dull.

He left and found his artistic voice by sowing his mouth shut in response to the incarceration of members of Pussy Riot following the performance of their Punk Prayer in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.

It made for a strikingly nasty image. An image, that had it been made by a non-artist, would have received little attention, but by pulling the one lever had got – art – his work received international attention.

He followed that up with a piece called Fixation (2013). That’s the one where his genitals come in to play.

After weeks of preparation and planning, he went to Red Square, stripped naked, and nailed his scrotum to the paving stones. Extreme? Yes, very. But maybe extreme situations call for extreme actions? …

Ai Weiwei uses the notion of art in a similar way. He too turns himself into a one-man picket to bring attention to what he perceives as the shortcomings of the authorities in his native country, China.

He has also been incarcerated, although for far less obvious reasons.

The American Theaster Gates is another artist who “leverages” the status of art in society to turn the detritus he finds in the dilapidated buildings he buys on the Southside of Chicago into sculptures worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

He then uses the money to help regenerate the area, which has been called the murder capital of America. …

He is furious. Ai Weiwei is furious. Theaster Gates is furious. Beyonce is furious.

They are all using art to protest, and to some effect – but admittedly with different immediate outcomes.

Well one thing is certain, Amos is furious, and like Ai Wei and Petr Pavlensky, has been incarcerated. But will he ever be famous? (Being a celebrity in S’pore doesn’t count.)

Btw, even his cybernut fans in TRELand are turning against him, or at least keeping quiet, like the ang moh tua kee paper warriors and activists that were championing him.

Amos’ boasting, his cockiness, his stoicism are all part of a plan to defy society. Ali shows such a plan can work. Ali who the Economist said did not know his place. His boasting, his cockiness, his stoicism—all were part of a plan to defy the established order.

But unlike Amos, Ali’s provocation was all the more complete because his bragging was so often backed by success.

Amos’ bragging remains all talk, no action.

Thinking about it, Ali was a protest artist. My favourite Ali quote: A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

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  1. Yee Pung Sai is no where near the standards of those you mentioned.

    One big difference: Those “protestors” you mentioned get into the ears of political leaders and bigger shot human rights activists. I don’t see Barack Obama et al mentioning Yee at all or any US official (I have tweeted to the US Ambassador to SG no reply nearly blocked me!)

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