Art School is Great (unless you’re working-class)

March 24, 2008

So, this is a thesis blog, so: thesis ramifications.  Everyone said the show, which cost me a shitload of money, was “super,” and but yet people have started to act strangely toward me from when the show opened onward and even when you decoct my considerable paranoia from the events as they unfold, it’s clear that I pissed off somebody somewhere.  Or: I pissed off a whole bunch of people, people who were “concerned” about me because of rumors spread by other students but who now won’t return my calls, people who are concerned “about” me but couldn’t care less that I’m homeless and don’t have much money and went through the hoops of various trauma in the last two months that would leave most other people in a catatonic state, curled up and mumbling “no no no.”

(Deep breath.)

 What this comes down to is purse strings.  The goal behind what came out of my thesis show is to actually go to the REAL Afghanistan because I’m in the maybe unprecedented position of being able to do this in every way except financially. 

And the school, which established a fund for the basic purpose?  Won’t give me any money.  Because, tacitly, my project has to do with politics and because my “behavior” is supposedly a “problem,” by which I mean that I don’t pander to people unless I’m forced to.

What I should’ve done: spent two years here very low on the radar, learned to paint, and did my own work on the side.  That’s how I approach the writing program and that seems to have gone well; I was joking with someone a while ago that I don’t think they even remember I’m a student, but now that invisibility seems like a benefit, if anything.

What this has to do with the class-conciousness chip on my shoulder: if I were able to better perform a better (wealthier, better-looking, less opinionated) version of myself in this upper middle-class context, I probably would have been a lot more successful at getting any practical benefit out of my education whatsoever.  This isn’t to say I haven’t learned a lot or that it wasn’t worth it, but just to reiterate what the year-end show demonstrates: you leave any MFA with exactly the same amount of connections and privilege and possibility as you had before you enrolled.   What this means for me is that I can enjoy my future cleaning toilets third-shift at an airport.

What this means for the immediate future is: I have two big, expensive projects to do.  I have work to do.  And if going to CalArts and/or graduating is going to get in the way of that, my decisions are pretty obvious.


2 Responses to “Art School is Great (unless you’re working-class)”

  1. Tony Horn Says:

    the reasons to go get an MFA are to learn about art, if you think you can’t teach yourself, to get to hang out with people like you, which will get old quick if you have a brain, and to make the connections you bitch about not making. art is a business and all business follows the same rules. It’s probably the reason you are on the third shift instead of the first. Balzac said mediocre artists make all the money, get over yourself, if you really want to move up in class figure out how. The first thing is get over yourself. Do what you need to do, but realize art doesn’t intergrate into society very well compared to other forms, tha’s just the way it is. So if you are good looking or can pull it off fuck a dealer, shamelessly promote yourself and make the connections every pragmatic “succsessfull” artist does.If that ruins you as an artist you sucked to begin with. welcome to the real world of professional art.

  2. Nicholas Says:

    I’m having a hard time understanding how someone can paraphrase Balzac and yet fail to grasp the fundamentals of writing in English. Weird. Don’t drink and comment, dude.

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