Comments: The Problem With “Peace”: The Art Of William Kentridge

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Dorit  Cypis, LA CA   06/25/03
I welcomed reading your article and its subtext of art in relation to ADR. I am an artist, exhibiting since the early 80' studying ADR at Pepperdine. Coming from aesthetics I know well how much power art can breath into ADR. Now being a student, I experience daily how much resistance there actually is towards this breath. What will it take to trust exhaling?

Judith Costello   02/20/03
I am concerned as the "peace protests" continue around the country that people naively think that "fighting for peace" means bashing Bush and pursuing conspiracy theories. Both sides of the war issue are very guilty of attacking, exaggerating, and offering very few creative solutions for how to deal with a madman who violates human rights repeatedly. There has to be a middle ground. There are very few who seem able to bring the issues of peacemaking "home" to apply ideas about nonviolence to what happens within families. I appreciated your article because I don't believe true"peace/goodwill" is possible without justice. Gandhi didn't strive for "peace," or a cessation of conflict, he strove for justice and truth by trying to call the British to a higher moral ground. (I doubt that is possible with a mad dictator.) I believe in the power of creativity. I also believe the power we have in the world is to transform our personal relationships. When we can create goodwill, harmonious relationships and creative solutions to problems at home then the world will begin to change as that goodwill and creativity spreads. That's hard work but that's got to be where we begin.

David McCain, San Diego CA     02/19/03
I love "peace"...
Mr. Benjamin has no use for the word "peace" / I find myself wanting to give it a new lease / To me, peace is a guiding goal / An outcome of living that I extoll He warns of how the word's misused / By those whose motive it to abuse / Dear Pres. Bush is a great example / There ain't one word that man won't trample I don't agree with what Dubya preaches / But "peace" to him probably rythyms with peaches / As mediators we must hold on to our dreams / And not "give in" to a cynical stream "Peace" is not for the cynic to rue / For its a state that's most overdue. / Do we say 'almost' and 'well, we tried'? / Then quickly take a full bromide I'll agree with you on one point, Mr. B / "What works" is the index that's best for me / Agreement won't follow empty ideals and desires / But with workin' and listenin' we can put out fires / I'm confused, though, by art as the cynic's medium / Making art is creation, not mere tedium / Like mediation, art creates a sacred place / Where things slow down, both time and space The changes that happen there, when the energy is right / Are a form of art, a shining light / That brings "peace" into existence / If only to balance the world's (and the cynic's) resistence. To suggest that my optimism be "checked" at the door / Is to ask heart and mind to go to war. / I'll keep my eyes open and my hope’s flag unfurled. / And trust my work WILL create peace in this world.

gauvreau    02/19/03
Thank you for an insightful peace.

Jay McCauley   02/19/03
Nice job, Robert. I understand that the phrase, "Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward Men," is actually a twentieth century Hallmark Card rewrite of the earlier, less Saccharine, Christmas message: "Joy to the World, and Peace to Men of Goodwill." Best regards, Jay McCauley,