From ‘THE ARTIST AND POLITICS: A SYMPOSIUM’ – Lawrence Weiner
May the immediate political response be that as a human being all I can comment upon is what action an Artist could take and to even imply what action Artists should take would constitute a fascism as abhorrent if not more repugnant as that which has brought the sorry situation to bear originally.
The major problem still remains the same: the old esthetic workhorse of content and intent. Art as it becomes useful, even to the extent of entering the culture, becomes for me no longer Art but History. History being perhaps the most viable tool of Politics. All Art as it becomes known becomes Political regardless of the intent of the Artist.
All Art then is capable of becoming political by its own or by the volition of the culture, changing via this process from Art to History.
So-called Art whose original intent and most often content is political or social does not concern me as an Artist. They are for me only varied forms of sociological propaganda; albeit sometimes extremely creative advertising.
I accept fully the responsibility for the position of my Art in culture Politics – but hold firmly that my actions as a man constitute only that. The political and sociological actions of one man with no vocational trimmings as props.
Artists are but one vocational unit in a sociological system and if I believed that their political and social opinions or needs were either above or below any other vocational unit, I should cease my activities.
Be there hopefully a day when men no longer need any other title than man to function politically. Then perhaps there shall be no political function for them.
Artforum, New-York, 1970.