It all began when my friend Kirk Read learned I had never destroyed a bible before:
Anyway, this is not about me feeling persecuted. I go out of my way to offend, this is what happens.
Recently, a number of people have asked me why I'm so offensive. What's the point of shocking people? What good does it do? It's just juvenile. It's not art. Art is supposed to have substance, art is supposed to heal and bring us together and stimulate thought. You're no better than Rush Limbaugh. You're just hurting people. If you're not careful, you won't have a career in the arts.
This got me thinking about my work specifically, queer art in general, and obscene/offensive art in total. Here are my thoughts:
* My queer ancestor, Leigh Bowery, said he only asks himself one question when he makes work: Where's the poison?
* Queer artists are here to end the world as we know it. We're here to be the monsters they say we are. And they should be scared.
* Rush Limbaugh never crack jokes about his extramarital affairs or his drug addiction, just like Glenn Beck never cracks jokes about his being Mormon. That's the difference between me and them. I talk shit about myself before I talk shit about anyone else.
* There's a difference between offending people and hurting people. I'm out to shock and offend you, but I'm not out to hurt you. You have not been victimized by my work. You do not need to be protected from my work. As Keith Hennessy says, "Safe space...continues to frame us all as victims or potential victims in need of protection. And victims are always justified in excluding others, or Others. Safe space is the ideology that supports the prison industrial complex."
* The bible is an object. Objects do not have fixed meanings. I am defiling what the bible means to me, not what it means to you.
* I don't give a shit if I have a career in the arts. Arts careers are lame. Bust my ass and play nice so I can beg for a $2,000 grant and do some shitty 3mo residency for $500? No thanks.
* I don't need to be more sensitive or careful about what I do. Your feelings are your responsibility.
* Lydia Lunch is the prophet. She divides the audience. She offends to separate those merely seeking entertainment from those who will fucking die without her work.
* If your only intent as an artist is to bring healing, your work probably sucks.
* If you're a curator, have faith in the intelligence of the audience. You don't have to pre-chew their food for them. And no, the audience won't conflate the artist's opinion with your own.
* Offensive art starts conversations. Once the worst thing has been said or depicted, the rest is easy.
* To paraphrase Kirk Read, the true evil in the world is fearful, well-meaning people.
* Art never needs to explain or defend itself. Art does not need a reason to exist. Art has no obligation to heal.
* I never said what I do is art.
I did repost the offending video on Xtube. Within 16hrs it was pulled by the website and is currently under administrative review.
Pulled. From Xtube. Really?
Xtube has now even put a block on my account.