The legacy of Thatcherite individualism still resonates now and obstructs any genuine attempts at multi-culturalism.
Thatcher wasn't coy about her agenda, "Economics are the method; the object is to change the heart and soul." Moral taxation and reward policies; tax breaks for married couples whilst oppressing and marginalising non-hetrosexual relationships and the destruction of the a whole country's cultural heritage, especially in the North. Millions were paid to be unemployed as this new utopia was to be formed.
Out of this demagogy, came a new generation of artists inspired by an identifiable figure of derision and hate. But Thatcherism cannot take credit for this; it would be like the Nazi's taking credit for inspiring Primo Levi. I am part of this generation and the iconoclasm and the undercurrent of critique in my work may have been formed at this time.
Politics and politicians learned from Thatcher's downfall, they realised quickly not to make themselves a target and ever since, politics has become grey and intangible. Politicians are careful to avoid issues that can be rallied against, instead there is a perfidious drip of policy shifts and we feel impotent in its wake. BUT humanity always finds a way to escape through the cracks; great art for me is the cracks. it is the intangible balance of composition in the abstract, the unwritten words of a great novel and the under current of otherness beyond the narrative.
|Victoria, from series 'The Big Society' © Richard Ansett 2008|