Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We don't have to look very far.

How would a plague affect art? Art is a reflection of the feelings and actions of society. Therefore we have to understand the affects of the plague on the minds of their society. We are in a particularly good place to understand its impact on the mind of the society suffering. We don’t have to look very far to see a very similar circumstance. Currently our society is suffering from a financial plague. Like the Black Plague, its cause can only be theorized, not definitively proven. Some areas have been hit much harder than others. It moves unpredictably through the land. Just when we think that we are safe, we notice victims in our neighborhood. We all know someone who has been affected and may be suffering ourselves. Realistically there is nothing that any one of us can do which will bear any significant result to the pursuing plague. I believe that even though on some level we all accept that fact, we all yearn to help the situation. We want to help each other, but in many cases we don’t have the resources or are in jeopardy ourselves. All we really know for sure is that we don’t want to be the next victim. Frustrated, helpless, and scared, we turn to anyone who offers answers we can believe in. That leads most of us to religion, high profile citizens, and academic experts. For those during the black plague in italy, those people were all a part of the church and/or government.

The art from our hardest hit areas are much like the art from there plague-ravaged communities, hopeless, fearful, and often idealistic. Now that we see some of the parallels, we have to put things in perspective. For the sake of simplicity we will use unemployment to quantify the severity of our plague. In July the national unemployment rate was 9.4% as reported by . Now just imagine that for every person unemployed there are three to five people dying a slow and horrifying death. That gives us an idea of the passion that must have gone into there art as a result of the plague.

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