It’s probably been about a year since I started working with the awesome team at Creative Mornings Cardiff. We’ve covered themes like Revolution, Ink Art and loads more and heard from some incredible people in the process. Check out the Creative Mornings Cardiff page and see what we’re up to on Twitter @CM_Cardiff.
Here’s my latest article exploring Shock:
Shock, like sex, sells. In a world where clickbait headings and tabloid extremism are used to peddle beauty products, lifestyles and dubious political affiliations it is becoming harder and harder to shock people. We’re now wary of articles telling us we’ll ‘never believe what happened next’, or lists that assure us that number six will astonish us. We grow desensitised, apathetic, mistrustful.
In art shock is used to the opposite effect; to jolt us out of our comfort zones and make us consider our own situations from another perspective, or to demonstrate the full impact of someone else’s story. Shocking an audience captures their attention and focuses it on what you want to say, which is why it’s employed by advertisers and tabloid journalists as a cheap sales tool. For the artist there is no commercial gain, and this is the difference between shock and the crudity of sensationalism.
Shocks to the system can do us good; they shake up our thoughts, they breed creativity and open new perspectives and they challenge us so that we don’t just accept and submit and trudge along day after day. Sensationalism keeps us wrapped in our comfort blanket of procured idealism and distances us from a reality we don’t want to engage with, and therefore cannot change.
Through art we are able to visualise and actually experience a reality other than our own. Art that can shock is a powerful and emotive tool – used well it can change the world; used cheaply and it may or may not sell a new line of diet pills.
It’s tough to see where we go next. What will shock the next generation? What will be ‘too much’? What will make us stop?… What do you think?
Thanks @me_tweeets for the artwork!