Art exists in a transient space; its purpose welcomed, questioned, shifting, and never understood. In particular one question often stands out – should it be saying anything? Or is it enough for art just to look good. An aesthetic or anarchic tool if you like. At London’s International Festival of Theatre they are well versed at welcoming in pioneering and visionary artists who challenge boundaries, and With the lights out it’s less dangerous, part of the Change for a Tenner! series was no different. Featuring artists who have faced risk in the performance and presentation of their work, it was a night of pioneers. Some of those risks came from the subversion of self imposed, or deviation from family legacy. Others may be the result of flouting social conventions. In more extreme cases it is government restrictions and political threat that may cause harm to the artist. Putting themselves on the line in a bid for justice, peace and love, a better world, is no easy thing to do, and shouldn’t be trivialized. So if you are after some inspiration, investigate some of the following.
Ivor Dembina, a London based Jewish comedian who uses deadpan humour to explore the tricky subject of Zionism and Israel.
Hala Ali, who argues against female invisibility, militancy and social dogmas through text, language and meaning.
Paula McFetridge, artistic director of Kabosh, a theatre company in Northern Ireland creating site specific works that tell cultural, historical and political stories to change lives.
Can art be both aesthetically appealing, and anarchic? Can it change lives?These artists prove the answer to that question is very much, yes.