Art embraces ambiguity, trying to make sense of it and channel fear. At the same time, art thereby brings doubts and uncertainties, something that people generally reflexively reject. And it evokes distrust in that same reflex, also in politicians, we know the examples. You could assume that within the category of "likes unambiguity," there is a relatively large group that does not hold art in a very warm heart. After all, why overhype what is already so clear in the mind? One plus one is two and we'd rather not turn that into something like "one and a half plus one and a half.
Art embraces ambiguity, trying to make sense of it and channel anxiety
These thoughts ran through my mind while looking back at the Paradiso debate that took place on August 28 this year; the annual opening of the cultural season in Amsterdam where politicians and people from the sector interact. Among the topics discussed were the value of art and culture and what the common denominator is for the politicians present there when it comes to the importance of art. What also came up: what would happen if the prime minister of this country constantly championed culture, truly believed in it and did not fail to propagate its importance and power? Then I thought of that unequivocalness. Then maybe the people who are so hung up on that unambiguity would also have a greater appreciation for art and the sector would be stronger and wouldn't have to be busy surviving all the time. Then the sector could just live.
What would happen if the prime minister of this country took a stand for culture?
And if it doesn't happen, that with the prime minister making a case for culture, I would suggest, in anticipation of embracing art, that we collectively make a case for embracing uncertainty. Let's jettison the security of single-mindedness. From the very beginning: at nursery school, elementary school, secondary school, et cetera. Replace ambiguity with doubt, uncertainty and curiosity about the unknown. This will not only benefit the cultural sector.