ARTICLE: The Death of University Art Programs, Part 4: The Subsidized Sedition of Establishment Art Schools


No “Social Practice” Art is complete without selfies 


Mark Twain once observed ““The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” The same analogy can be applied to the almost right and right principles of “social justice” versus “justice.”

“Social Justice” claims to be about fairness, which is a highly desirable outcome. But the term is a manipulative Newspeak euphemism for envy, revenge and oppression.  What social justice actually does is crush people into group identities which have been assigned favored and non-favored status by  power hungry establishment elitists. Preemptively claiming group guilt or privilege is an abstraction which does not recognize the actuality that people are individuals, responsible and accountable for their own actions. It’s the opposite of real justice.

We have come to call this collusion against the values of Western civilization Postmodernism. Social justice ideas are the propaganda our corrupt governing class uses to distract and inflame their mob rule shock troops. These cunning perpetrators use art as one of the weapons in their arsenal to undermine the rule of law. The totalitarians utilize their money and connections to enforce the results they want. Our universities are willing accomplices to this abuse of the arts.

Artnet reports on their latest maneuver:  “Yale School of Art Launches New Art and Social Justice Initiative” . They positively preen about it:

“The program, developed by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Dean of the Yale School of Art, Marta Kuzma, is funded by a recent $750,000 donation from an anonymous Yale alum. The money will be put toward research, scholarships, projects, and other academic resources across the graduate school of art, as well as a series of lectures and panels open to the whole university, aimed at exploring the intersection of art and social engagement.

“The initiative is largely a product of an ongoing conversation between faculty (Kuzma, in particular) and graduate students about addressing issues around artistic production amid the current social and political climate. This is, however, part of a larger trend, with numerous MFA programs reframing themselves around ‘social practice’ art.”

The fraud committed is exposed in the first line of the New York Times article Artnet linked: “Carmen Papalia’s M.F.A. project doesn’t look much like art.” A blind student led a bunch of virtue signalling lemmings on a closed eye tour. In true millennial style, the participants made sure to broadcast their  panic attacks and subsequent engorged wokeness.
Such gestures don’t look like art because they are not art. An exercise in generic consciousness raising  has nothing to do with a skilled and insightful personal expression of spiritual values. It’s a gimmick, a publicity stunt to advertise the politically correct values of the participants.
Postmodernists thinks they can use language and prestige to reprogram the fundamental needs of humanity. The establishment wants to redefine the timeless experience of art into knee jerk genuflections before the idol of Social Justice. In my upcoming book, “Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization,” I note the following:

“In the blind alleys we were directed into, the criteria being used to evaluate the works seemed on the surface completely arbitrary. But in fact, the feebler the efforts were, the more opportunities it gave to launch into peripheral diatribes regarding half-baked sociology, aggravated psychology, convoluted technobabble and the like. This was the kind of talk that got these teachers really excited, subtly reinforcing that this was where our attention ought to be focused. They were indoctrinating us into the Postmodern way.

“Rewarding certain behaviors encourages more of those types of behaviors. And so most students were dutifully herded into producing slapdash experimental works, and talking about activism, therapy and pedantic minutia, rather than trying to understand if an artwork functioned effectively on its own terms, as art. It was easier to adopt the lofty lecturing tone of the instructors, to curry favor by asserting the approved beliefs and attitudes.

“Encouraging attitudes of grievance and victimization, or highlighting incidental matters of process or technique, does not lead to powerful art. But it does lead to the generation of thought police, dependent personality disorder types, and detached technocrats—all useful cogs for the Leftist machine. The indoctrination continues.”

The New Aristocracy of the Well Connected are desperately funneling resources to maintain their current dominance. This anonymous Yale grant is just the latest example of Postmodernism’s key priority: controlling the narrative. It won’t work. Contemporary art is undergoing a crisis of relevance.  Pouring money into training a new generation to create non-art for the SJW scene will only make our current culture industries more irrelevant than ever.

See the previous articles in The Death of University Art Programs series linked below:

Part 1: Eric Fischl

Part 2: The Corcoran Collapse 

Part 3: Ignorance as a Method of Critique 

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers! Please visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

22 thoughts on “ARTICLE: The Death of University Art Programs, Part 4: The Subsidized Sedition of Establishment Art Schools

  1. You second paragraph describing “Social Justice” was SO SPOT ON! Bravo!

  2. I see programs of ‘social engagement’ popping up in emails from my alma mater, Moore College of Art in Philadelphia. So disappointing. Of course, it’s a women’s college, so they figure the students are ripe for this kind of nonsense. For years the Illustration Major, from which I graduated, is the largest in the school, & has great skilled teachers who rightly steer clear of that idiocy – their students want to work hard and earn a living when they graduate. But the leadership at the school is always fussing over & promoting the fine art departments, which produce the least real value.

  3. Social justice is to justice as military music is to music.

    Richard Bledsoe: The battle began at the dawn of civilization, and is continuing.

  4. As a recovering art history student (MA NYU Institute of Fine Arts, 1984) who dearly loves the High Conceptualism of the late 20th century AS A FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT, I recommend to you this admirably short and LOL-funny mystery novel:

    Come to think of it, you’d probably enjoy many more of the titles in the long-running series of the adventures of Baroness Ida ‘Jack’ Troutbeck, as I have.

  5. Contrast the world’s ever-widening cultural desert, strangling major creative effort in all venues from the early-middle 1960s on, with the extraordinary transnational accomplishments of c. 1875 – 1900.

    For decades now –on-balance from 1918, the end of the Great War– only info-tech and esoteric scientific disciplines have any interest. Given zero memorable painting or sculpture, no music composed, no lasting novels or poetry written [name any], only cartoonish pop-cult daubs, droning monotonic noises, soap-operatic melodramas, have competed for philistine commercial plaudits. (Think the estimable Bob Dylan’s Nobel citation for– literature?)

    As for the humanities… “history” is non-existent; “philosophy” is indistinguishable from randomly generated parodies; “scholarship” has degenerated to mere casuistry, a faux-academic pretense vitiated by sectarian bigots of precisely zero intellectual, moral, or withal spiritual attainment.

    How long will this sad state persist? We’d say, ’til about AD 2040, 72 years past 1968’s generational inflection-point, 36 years from 2004. The rule is: Fathers create, sons inherit, grandsons squander, and great-grandsons repeat the process. Just as the Soviet Union lasted from 1917 – 1989, so we expect our sadsack Boomers, Generation Wuss et al. to go their way when the cohort born c. 2018 – ’22 in boredom as well as self-defense bestirs itself to call out, “Halt– enough!”

  6. ART, n. This word has no definition. Its origin is related as follows by the ingenious Father Gassalasca Jape, S.J.One day a wag — what would the wretch be at? —
    Shifted a letter of the cipher RAT,
    And said it was a god’s name! Straight arose
    Fantastic priests and postulants (with shows,
    And mysteries, and mummeries, and hymns,
    And disputations dire that lamed their limbs)
    To serve his temple and maintain the fires,
    Expound the law, manipulate the wires.
    Amazed, the populace the rites attend,
    Believe whate’er they cannot comprehend,
    And, inly edified to learn that two
    Half-hairs joined so and so (as Art can do)
    Have sweeter values and a grace more fit
    Than Nature’s hairs that never have been split,
    Bring cates and wines for sacrificial feasts,
    And sell their garments to support the priests.

  7. Hey thanks for the recommendation! I see the pleasure in spoofing Postmodern pretentiousness-I saw amusing examples of this on some British TV shows: Spaced, and Absolutely Fabulous. Both had bad-contemporary-art themed episodes.

  8. Very interesting observation. I’m afraid we don’t have that much time to survive as a nation at the current trajectory. We need to move that timetable up a few decades.

  9. ” they thought it was all over” and because of this they have become lazy, fat, and stupid. Which has brought them to this point as you say “They don’t know how to act as they lose”, and it is funny, but they are still dangerous.

  10. I forgot to credit the above poem, it’s by Ambrose Bierce from the “Devil’s Dictionary”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s