I’m probably too much of a pragmatist to believe that the active participants of the Chelsea and Lower East Side art scene will produce work that sparks great social change, but we’ve at least uttered some intelligent words on the topic. Given that this is the case, in the coming weeks we’ll be looking at what artists, curators and dealers have to say about subject of revolution. Today, we begin with a few excerpts from Hans Ulrich Obrist’s 2006 interview with Robert Crumb, from his “Conversation Series”. Emphases ours.
On rising up:
“In America now there are parallels to Nazi Germany in the 1930s as the citizens of the country accept more and more fascism. They accept one level and then the people running the government try to bring it up to another level of that kind of control or loss of democratic rights”¦ As people get used to one level — people grumble and complain about it but nobody is able to do anything about it. People complain about it but then they get used to it even if they don't like it; they come to accept it. They can't seem to find a way to fight against it. So who knows what they will come up with next? Unless people really get organized and really resist and fight and bring those guys down somehow, it is just going to get worse.”
“Well, when I was young I really believed in the revolution. I don't really believe in revolution anymore; I'm too old now. I think that any violent over-turning of a government or society causes a reaction that is bad or worse than the thing that they were revolting against to begin with, so I don't believe so much in revolution anymore”¦Human beings just have a hard time getting along with each other. It's a miracle we get along as well as we do.“