Thursday, July 17, 2008

"All art is propaganda." -Eric Gill

1. Propaganda is information deliberately spread to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc. These ideas or rumors might serve positively or maliciously in the aims of individuals or groups.
2. Propaganda can also be the physical material distributed by the individuals or groups attempting to promote or oppose a doctrine or a cause.

Gill defines the value of art in two ways.
1. Commerce value. "Commerce is the business of exchanging things, and no painter can eat a picture so he must exchange it for bread." In this way, Gill defines the commerce value of art in its capacity to have exchange value, in its worth in trade.
2. Studio value. "Of course the painter doesn't say to himself: now I'm going to do a spot of propaganda for the idle rich. He'd be ashamed to. So he has to wrap himself in art jargon instead, and talk about another kind of values-'tone values', 'formal relations', the relations of masses', and so his work becomes propaganda for studio values." Gill states the propaganda of the studio, of the creation of art and of the final product, also propose a set of values that propagate particular ideals, ideas and tenets of the work of art. These studio values encapsulate both the individual work of art, its relationship to the broader realm of the world of art, and potentially make a statement of beliefs that will be carried through the work.

Gill extends the paradigm of the value of art into society and culture. His ideas of propaganda transcend the individual art work and filter into the contemporary condition. The statements, manifestos and theses, of the art world do not exist in a vacuum. The artist is affected by the world and the world is affected by art.

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