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Dec 30, 2015

2015, The Paris Year

"Guernica", by Pablo Picasso, representing the greater power.
In a contest between art and violence, art wins. Sure violence is spectacular and always beats art to the headlines. But peer back through history and see if you don't agree. One artist against an entire fascist dictatorship? I'll place my bet with the artist! And here's why:

In the 20th century most of us knew Francisco Franco was the dictator who seized Spain in 1936 and didn't let go until he died in 1975. But in 200 years' time, I bet most people won't have the foggiest idea who he was. He had no idea when fighting the Spanish civil war that he was up against an artist! Franco's horrific bombing of the town of Guernica prompted a local painter to make a large painting of the atrocity, which will never be forgotten. Picasso's Guernica will continue to sing the song of humanity til the end of time. Franco and all his armies? Already nearly forgotten, along with their horrid work.

This year saw poor Paris suffer two stunningly horrible terror attacks. Violence will always grab attention. Its power is immediate, but very short-lived. The retribution itch that violence scratches cannot compare with the healing power that washes over the survivors in its wake. Sure, some few will be stirred to further payback, but the greater proportion of society will heal, learn and mature. We can see this pattern after wars. If it didn't work, wars would just keep expanding. But they don't. They end, people rebuild, and usually with new ideas in place to discourage violence in the future. This, (not the US military!) is why ISIS will fade away. Terror has nothing to offer.

This year we saw 190 nations ratify the Paris accords to finally try to tackle climate change. Despite the GOP (the only political body of note in the world who still denies the facts of climate change), it's clear the world is gathering round the bonfire to try to control ourselves. As I write there are unseasonal weather catastrophes around the world, each of which we can be sure is an exacerbation of the greater problem; and it will get worse. But let's not lose sight of the good news: the change has begun and it is permanent! Never again will the human race wallow in complacency while nature is cooked around us. We have a long road ahead but the corner has been turned. The fact that both these stories happen in Paris may be coincidence, but history works like this. Coincidence is God's way of staying anonymous.   Happy New Year to us all!


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Tim Holmes Studio

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I'm a sculptor/filmmaker living in Montana, USA. I am using art to move the evolution of humanity forward into an increasingly responsive, inclusive and interactive culture. As globalization flattens peoples into a capitalist monoculture I hope to use my art to celebrate historical cultural differences and imagine how we can co-create a rich future together.

I see myself as an artist/philosopher laboring deep in the mines of joy. I've had a good long career of exhibiting work around the world and working on international outreach projects, most notably being the first American to be invited to present a one-person exhibit in the Hermitage Museum. Recently I have turned my attention from simply making metal sculpture to creating films and workshops for engaging communities directly, tinkering with the very ideas and mechanisms behind cultural transformation. I feel that as we face tragic world crises, if the human species favors our imaginative and creative capacities we can cultivate a rich world to enjoy.

For me the deepest satisfaction in making art comes in engaging people's real life concerns rather than providing simple entertainment or decoration. Areas of conflict or tension are particularly ripe for the kind of transformative power that art uniquely carries. I invite any kind of challenge that serves people on a deep level.